Summary: Today, I want to speak to you on this topic, “How Do I Support Others in a Time of Need.” What can you do to do support your friends and loved-ones during their time of need. You can pray, really pray for your friends, family, and church family when they are down.
Today, we begin a short study on the first half of the New Testament book of Colossians. Having introduced this book a few weeks before Easter, we’ll explore the first part of the book and get back to the second half of the book later this year.
I love it when something has me “charged up!” When some project has me so totally engrossed that I pour all of my energies into it. But for large parts of our lives, we find ourselves empty and depleted. Some of you expressed that to me as we talked on the phone just this week. This continued isolation was grinding on you and you needed to see people again. I can understand that as we need one another. One of the real challenges when I feel empty is that I often don’t know what to do fill myself up again. If only our emotional lives operating like a smart phone where we knew exactly where to plug ourselves in and feel recharged.
Today, I want to speak to you on this topic, “How Do I Support Others in a Time of Need.” What can you do to do support your friends and loved-ones during their time of need. You can pray, really pray for your friends, family, and church family when they are down.
“Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God” (Colossians 4:12).
Do you catch those words “always struggling on your behalf in his prayers?” A lot of us pray “short prayers” and that’s fine one level. But there’s a whole other level you can take prayer life to! Are you ready to “level up” in prayer life?
When we pray we experience God’s love and a oneness with Him. When we pray we experience the promise of peace and rest in God Himself. When we pray we experience the very presence of God as we call on Him to advance His kingdom.
Colossians 1:9-14 is a really a prayer – I am not sure if you caught that when it was read to you a moment ago. You can tell this portion is a prayer because of verse 9 where he describes his prayers: “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…” (Colossians 1:9).
Programming Note: all throughout today’s message, I will show you exactly where I am connecting with the passage of Scripture by use this screen beside me.
Today’s Scripture (Passage Read Before Sermon)
“And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1:9-14).
Now, if I wanted to learn to cook I might watch The Pioneer Woman to make a great meal. If I wanted to learn how to invest, I might ask for an hour of billionaire Warren Buffet’s time, the Oracle of Omaha. If I wanted to learn how to live healthy, I ask my doctor or a nurse for help. But if I wanted to really strengthen my prayer life then I would want listen in on the prayer of the Apostle Paul.
You can copy how Paul prays for believing friends and those who don’t share your faith. Have you noticed that somehow there is a great urgency to pray when there is sickness, financial pressure, and difficult decisions before me.
I found it interesting that a 2004 study found that nearly 30 percent of atheists admitted they prayed “sometimes.” Another 2010 study says people that older you grow, the more likely you are to pray.
Here’s a truth for you: you must be convinced that we are not going to make it unless we pray.
Watch how this prayer works in levels. Watch for a progression here.
Here’s how to pray when people are down…
1. Pray to Know God Better
You know when we pray we often pray for Brenda to be healed or for John to be safe. We’ll ask the Lord to give someone a job who has just been unemployed. These things are not necessarily wrong but you never hear Paul praying this way. Paul’s prayers are on another level and I want help to take you to another level. I want you to power up your prayer life during this shelter in place. I am sure that there was sickness in town of Colossi but he didn't pray for anyone to be healed. I am sure that there were people there who needed work, but he did not pray for jobs.