12/05/18 Devoted Prayer

READING: Philemon, Colossians 1-4

“Devote yourselves to prayer.”

Colossians 4:3

Paul knew the importance of having others pray for him. He called for that kind of prayer in Ephesians 6:18-20, and he echoed the same idea in Colossians 4:2-4. Indeed, what he asked for was a fervent, intense, ongoing prayer: “Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving” (Col. 4:2). More specifically, he sought intentional prayer on his behalf as a witness for Christ. He asked the Colossians to pray that God “may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak” (Col. 4:3-4). Paul wanted God to provide opportunities for him to speak, and the apostle did not want to miss those open windows with anything less than a clear message. God had made the gospel known to Jew and Gentile alike – and Paul knew he was privileged to be a voice for that word. 

These texts bring to mind several questions for me today:

  1. Do I pray with this kind of fervor for others to be witnesses? Do I have others pray this way for me?
  2. Do I daily pray for God to give me opportunities to speak the Word? Do I watch for those open doors?
  3. Do I recognize that I need help in speaking the gospel? Am I so confident in my speaking ability that I might try to share the gospel without asking God to give me clarity?
  4. If the apostle Paul needed others to pray for him to speak the gospel clearly, might I need someone to pray for me as well?
  5. How might my church’s evangelistic efforts differ if each of us prayed for someone else to speak the Good News boldly and clearly? 

I know I cannot resolve all these issues today, but I can start by asking others to pray for me and my evangelistic efforts today. Would you be one of those persons for me? Would you pray for me by name that I might magnify the name of Jesus? 

ACTION STEPS:  

  • If you’re willing, pray for me today.
  • Enlist others who will pray the same way for you today.

PRAYER: “Father, give my opportunity and clarity in speaking the Good News today.”

TOMORROW’S READING:  Ephesians 1-4