Prayer presented by steven schiller
Prayer presented by steven schiller
1Th 5:17 Pray without ceasing.
Pray without ceasing
In the last two chapters in his epistle to the Colossians, Paul exhorts them to live the kind of life that demonstrates their faith in Jesus Christ as the "All-Sufficient And Pre-Eminent Savior"
In Col 3:1-11, he describes the "basics" of Christian living
In Col 3:12-17, he describes the Christians' "apparel"
And in Col 3:18-4:1, he discusses "guidelines" to govern Christian families
Prior to making his closing comments, he now gives three exhortations to his brethren that I am calling in this lesson, "Essentials To Living The Christ-Like Life"
[Beginning in Col 4:2-4, then, the Colossians as well as all Christians are exhorted to...]
CONTINUE IN PRAYER (2-4)
PRAYER THAT IS "FAITHFUL"...
As Paul writes, "continue earnestly in prayer"
Just as he wrote to the Romans - Ro 12:12
And also to the Thessalonians - 1Th 5:17
That people faithfully continue in prayer was a concern of our Lord as well
He taught a parable that men always ought to pray - Lk 18:1
He was concerned that when He returned, He might not find faith on the earth! - Lk 18:8
We have several wonderful examples to serve as role models...
David, a man after God's own heart - Ps 55:16-17
Daniel, a man greatly beloved by God - Dan 6:10
Anna, an elderly widow blessed to see the Christ-child - Lk 2:36-38
Of course, Paul himself- Col 1:9
And also Epaphras, himself a member of the church at Colosse - Col 4:12
Many people pray only when there is a crisis - may that not be true of us!
PRAYER THAT IS "WATCHFUL"...
Or as Paul put it in our text, "be vigilant in it"
On several occasions, Jesus warned His disciples to be watchful in prayer - Mk 13:32-33; Mt 26:41
So His apostles warn us...
Paul, in Ep 6:18
Peter, in 1Pet 4:7
Through "watchful" praying, we will not be caught unprepared by:
Satan, and the temptation to sin
Death, and the judgment to follow
Christ, and the glories for those who are ready when He comes again
PRAYER THAT IS "THANKFUL"...
"with thanksgiving", Paul says
Throughout his epistle to the Colossians, there has been an emphasis on being thankful - Col 1:3,12; 2:7; 3:15,17; 4:2
As someone said, "We should thank God just as diligently in our prayers as we make requests of Him." - cf. also Php 4:6
Let's be sure to "abound with thanksgiving"!
Especially in light of Ro 1:21
Where we see that ingratitude was one reason why God's wrath was being revealed from heaven!
PRAYER THAT IS "PURPOSEFUL"...
As Paul requested of his brethren in Colosse, "praying also for us..."
Prayers are often too general in their requests, lacking specific purpose
But as here in our text, Paul often asked for specific prayers in his behalf - e.g., Ro 15:30-32
From our text in Colossians and elsewhere, what specific requests can we make for those preach and teach God's Word?
Opportunity ("an open door") - Col 4:3; cf. 2Th 3:1
Wisdom ("as I ought to speak") - Col 4:4
Boldness - Ep 6:19-20
[As we endeavor to live the Christ-like life, make the right kind of prayer a crucial element! Prayer that is:
The exhortation in verse 5 of our text is also crucial to living a Christ-like life, especially when among those who are not Christians...]
WALK IN WISDOM (5)
CHRISTIANS NEED TO BE CONCERNED WITH HOW THEY "WALK"...
In other words, how they conduct themselves
We are to walk in wisdom especially "toward those who are outside"
By proper conduct, we can influence them for good - e.g., 1Pe 3:1-2
The world is constantly making judgments concerning us by our conduct, and according to Jesus, this is their privilege - cf. Jn 13:35; 17:20-21
ANOTHER REASON SUCH WISDOM IS IMPERATIVE IS "TIME"...
To be exact, the lack of time! - cf. Ep 5:15-17
The time we have in this life is short
We cannot afford to waste much of it through foolishness
And there are some people who need Christ whose time left on this earth is even shorter than ours!
So we need to "redeem" the time; i.e., make the most of the time we have
[Finally, as we consider these "Essentials To Living The Christ-Like Life" found in our text, let's remember that it was said of Jesus that people...
"...marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth." (Lk 4:22)
As His disciples, we should also...]
SPEAK WITH GRACE (6)
THE POWER OF THE TONGUE IS VIVIDLY ILLUSTRATED IN JAMES 3...
It effects the entire body - Jm 3:2
It can have great destructive power - Jm 3:6
It is inconsistent for us to use it for both good and evil - Jm 3:9-12
THEREFORE WE NEED TO LEARN TO SPEAK "WITH GRACE"...
As Paul also commanded in Ep 5:29
No corrupt communication is to proceed out of our mouths
Only that which edifies, imparting "grace to the hearers"
Our speech is to be "seasoned with salt"
Not to be confused with the "salty language" of some sailors!
But rather speech properly flavored so that it well received by others
We especially need to watch our language around those who are NOT Christians
"that you may know how to answer each one" - Col 4:6
"a servant of the Lord must not quarrel..." - 2Ti 2:23-26
Are we as careful with our own speech, as we want others to be with their lives?
Do we, who claim to be the disciples of Jesus Christ...
...speak the words of truth that come by Him in the same gracious manner He did?
These three simple exhortations, if truly heeded, can have a powerful impact on our lives:
Our "prayer life" will likely be very different!
Our "walk" (conduct) will be noted for its wisdom
Our "speech" will be a source of encouragement to others
This is the essence of following Jesus Christ! To allow Him to so live in us that by God's grace we experience a transformation that affects every aspect of our lives!
Speaking of the GRACE of God, have you taken advantage of what TIME it is...? (cf. 2Co 6:1-2)