Summary: What can we do for ourselves, others in our church, and those who are serving the Lord overseas on Missions? One thing for certain is we can PRAY. This sermon teaches us specifically what we can pray .
A Prayer for Missions
A. This year’s Penny Crusade (our annual Mission focus and appeal) theme was about taking a Cruise and visiting the places where AC ministries are working through World Missions.
We boarded the US Sonship for our cruise.
We have visited some great locations around the world, met new people who are serving the Lord, as well as learned more about our brothers and sisters in Christ in other parts of the world.
We have experienced some of their joys and blessings, as well as their difficulties - and we have prayed for them.
B. The idea of cruise is very appropriate for many reasons: Cruises – so I am told, are a lot of fun. Cruises let us really experience the locations we are visiting.
But cruises are also great because as you visit some of these countries and you see the poverty and problems that people live in, you get back on the ship and you leave.
Soon our ship will dock at home and we will once again, get back into our own routines of life – look at the pictures of our cruise from time to time.
And perhaps we will ask; “now that I am home, what can I do for Missions and the Missionaries who serve around the world?”
C. The Answer? As we get home and settle into our lives again – even though we may not know any specific prayer needs for Missionaries and the congregations that live in other parts of the world. There is one thing we can always do – PRAY!
But you might ask: What should I pray for?
D. As we study our passage today, Paul is out serving the Lord in other parts of the world and as He writes the church in Colosse, we learn about Prayer and what we can always Pray for the work of Missions.
Let us learn from our passage today.
A. Devote yourself to Prayer, vs. 2a
This is not an option, a suggestion, a desire – it is a command that as God’s people we need to be committed to Praying for the work of Christ everywhere.
B. Pray being Watchful, vs,2b
I believe that there are two reasons that we are told to Pray while being watchful:
1. Prayer is not always the easiest or most natural thing to do in our lives – so we need to be watchful for the things in our life that prevent us, distract us, hinder us from being devoted to prayer.
What hinders you from being devoted to prayer? TV, too busy, fear of what others think, etc.? Seek ways to overcome these hindrances –even asking the Lord to help you.
2. I think we are told to be watchful in prayer because we need to keep our eyes open to the needs around us in order to prayer. Part of our PC time this year was learning about the needs of the ministries overseas and how we might pray. Karen S. took the time to email different missionaries and asked specficiallywhat we can pray for. But even when we are not doing PC – keep your eyes open to the things around you, the people around you, the news (join the enewsletter – its free) you will see and know some specific things you can pray for.
What things around you, people around you, do you need to lift up in prayer?
C. Pray with Thanksgiving, vs. 2c Sometimes when we really keep our eyes open to see the needs around us, see the hurts of people, see the problems, see the needs for salvation in so many people – it can honestly become overwhelming at times.
I think it was overwhelming for Jesus at times too – He needed time to get away and refresh himself with the Father – He wept over the people who just didn’t get who He was.
So we are called to pray being thankful. I.E. when you are praying for all the needs in life, the church, the mission field, etc. also consider the things that you need to thank the Lord for: answered prayer, what He is doing, our Hope; etc.
Prayer needs to be balanced: watch for the needs and pray, but also take some time to consider your blessings and thank the Lord.
D. Pray the Mission Prayer, vs. 3-4
What is the Mission Prayer? No matter what you know or don’t know about a given ministry or fellow brother or sister in Christ, you can always pray this Mission Prayer.
1. Pray that God will open the door for our message – i.e. pray that others will be receptive to the message of Christ.
2. Pray that we might proclaim Christ clearly.