Summary: This is the second message the Eucharist series exploring Colossians 1:9-14 as Paul reveals three essentials for a thankful prayer.

INTRODUCTION: Authentic thanksgiving through prayer is a true REFLECTION of the gratitude in our hearts for GOD’S ACTIVITY (past, present, & future).

Transition: Ex. of A.C.T.S. prayer. We must be careful not to reduce thanksgiving in our prayer to a section or checklist in preparation for supplication.

1) Paul reveals the HABIT of thankful prayer (v 9a) - Paul is referring to his pattern of regular & consistent prayer rather than a continuous & uninterrupted prayer.

How do you develop the habit? (like work-out training)

• FREQUENCY: Issue of consistency (undisciplined mind)

• INTENSITY: Issue of distraction (low level to high)

• TIME: Issue of priority (Richard Foster - "Hurry is not of the devil, it is the devil.")

2) Paul reveals the HEART of a thankful prayer (v 9b)

How do I FIND His heart/will? (Forget about His will for "your" life. FIND His heart & you’ll find His will)

• FILLED HEART – Passive Verb = to make full w/ a quality not of itself

• INCLINED HEART – available. Will = qelhma – what God wishes to bring about by the activity of others to whom God assigns the task.

• NEAR HEART – sophia = wisdom God imparts to to those close to him – Solomon… Stephen… Goal is not to work for Him but walk with Him…

• DISCERNING HEART – GRK = faculty of comprehension, spiritual intelligence, shrewdness…

• Notice that each of these Paul that mentinons builds on the other… Filling --> inclination --> nearness --> discerning.

3) Paul reveals the HARVEST of a thankful prayer. (vv 10-14)

What does a thankful prayer look like for others… ex. not memorized list…

a. It is a FRUITFUL harvest (…bearing fruit in every good work…)

We pray fearful prayers (e.g. comfort, protection, security)... we must be those who pray fruitful prayers... "Lord, would you work in our lives so that we might produce your fruit!"

b. It is a FLOURISHING harvest (…incr… in the knowledge of God…)

Expand in our capacity of knowing God... We need to be stretched... most ppl have a grossly underestimated view of God.

c. It is a FORTIFYING harvest (…strengthened with all power…)

Attacks from the enemy come... we struggle... we need to be strengthened with His power according to His glorious might!

d. It is the FATHER’S harvest (…giving thanks to the Father…)

Each of these three preceding verbs are present passive participle verbs… passive tense verbs = the subject is being acted upon (outside by H.S. filling)

(each of these verbs are aorist tense verbs = one point in time)

• qualified you… - make sufficient, empower, authorize

• delivered… rescue, save, preserve (verb has a constant quality… acts as a whole…domain is not a state but an active authority – parallel with next phrase

• transferred… from one place to another… rescue by transfer… resident in one… transferred to another…

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