Powerful Prayers

Colossians 1:7-14

“You learned about the Good News from Epaphras, our beloved co-worker. He is Christ’s faithful servant, and he is helping us on your behalf. He has told us about the love for others that the Holy Spirit has given you. So we have not stopped praying for you since we first heard about you. We ask God to give you complete knowledge of his will and to give you spiritual wisdom and understanding. Then the way you live will always honor and please the Lord, and your lives will produce every kind of good fruit. All the while, you will grow as you learn to know God better and better. We also pray that you will be strengthened with all his glorious power so you will have all the endurance and patience you need. May you be filled with joy, always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light. For he has rescued us from the kingdom of darkness and transferred us into the Kingdom of his dear Son, who purchased our freedom and forgave our sins.”

Background:

  • Paul says they have “not stopped praying” for the church at Colosse since they heard about its formation.  This tells us while Paul was sitting in a Roman prison waiting for his trial, he used his time praying for others.  We are often waiting too (in doctors offices, at red lights, at the checkout counter, for the computer to start up).  What if we used our waiting times to pray for others instead of letting our minds wander or focus on ourselves and our problems?
  • Next we see what Paul prayed continually for the Colossians:
  1. Complete knowledge of God’s will
  2. Spiritual wisdom and understanding
  • Paul says if the Colossians have these – then “the way you live will always honor and please the Lord” the NIV says, “so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way.”  Isn’t this what we want for our children, our friends, our church, and ourselves?  If we believe God is the one who can give it to us, why don’t we spend more time asking Him for it?  I’m asking myself the question too…
  • Paul goes on to say that when we live a life that pleases God, it looks like this –
  1. You will produce good fruit  (remember this is not external stuff – its love, joy, peace, patience..etc.)
  2. You grow to know God better and better
  • I know here on vacation with long car rides, I could use a little more patience and self-control at the 11th hour of driving.  I also can’t say there is nothing in this world that I want more than to know God more.  So if that is truly my heart’s desire, I need to pray and ask for more spiritual understanding and a greater knowledge of His will.
  • Next Paul asks for more on the Colossians behalf:
  1. “strengthened with all his glorious power” so that..
  2. you will have “endurance and patience you need”
  3. “filled with joy, always thanking the Father”
Not a bad trio to pray over our churches.  Take a moment and do that for your local body of believers right now.
  • Paul then reminds them that they have been rescued from the kingdom of darkness and now have an inheritance in God’s Kingdom through Christ.  “‘Rescued’ translates errusato, a word that means to liberate, save, or deliver someone from something or someone.”  Take a moment to take that truth in… we were once enslaved to our own selfishness and sin which leads to death. But now Christ has rescued us to a life of purpose (even through the pain) and ultimate salvation one day in heaven.

Application questions:

Summertime can be a challenging time to stay disciplined in our prayers.  What specific times are you setting aside to pray for your family, your church, and others God has placed in your life?

James says in 1:19, “The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.”  If we believe that is true, why don’t our time priorities include more prayer?

If we aren’t sure what to pray for others, Paul gave us a great example.  Pick 3 people to pray specifically for right now, and ask God to give them these things:

  • Complete knowledge of God’s will
  • Spiritual wisdom and understanding
  • To produce good fruit
  • To grow to know God better and better
  • To be strengthend with all God’s glorious power
  • Endurance and patience as needed
  • Filled with joy, always thanking the Father

Prayer:

Adoration:  Praise God that He hears our prayers and calls them “powerful” and “effective”

Confession: Admit and repent of your lack of prayer

Thanksgiving:  Thank God that we have 24 hour access to Him and that He always listens

Supplication:  Ask God to give you discipline and direction in your prayer life

 

 

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