Summary: Paul’s prayer to the Colossian church is a great outline for our prayer for other believers and a pattern for our spiritul maturity.
Date Written: October 8, 2006
Date Preached: October 8, 2006
Where Preached: OZHBC (PM)
Sermon Series: A Study in Colossians
Sermon Title: A “what” and “why” prayer for Spiritual Maturity
Sermon Text: Col 1:9-12
9 For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; 11 strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all steadfastness and patience ; joyously 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in Light.
Col 1:9-12 (NASB)
Last week we began our journey through the book of Colossians by seeking how Paul was so excited about the fellowship at Colosse. We found out that Paul was excited about the fellowship (v.3-4), we also found out that Paul revealed the true nature of his excitement (v.5-6) and that Paul was very excited about their pastor (v.7-8)
Paul had a great reason for excitement about this church as it was growing very fast and many of the believers had come out of a pagan background and they were reaching out into the pagan world and sharing Christ.
Tonight I want us to continue our journey in Colossians and I want us to continue looking at Paul’s prayer that he wrote to the Colossian church… tonight I want us to see how Paul prays a ‘what’ and ‘why’ prayer for the believers in Colosse.
Now let me ask you a question, when you pray for someone, have you ever been stumped on just HOW you should pray for them… or just what you need to say to God about them… or just where in their lives needs God touch…
I know that so often as believers we pray NOT as we should but our prayer is more OF THIS world than of God. We pray for health and wealth and good fortune. But do we ever pray for spiritual maturity on the part of the one we are praying for!
I hope and pray that those in this church who are praying for me that you are not praying that I would be successful as your pastor, but I hope you are praying for me to submit to the will of God and surrender to His plan and purpose for my life and for the life of this church.
This is exactly what Paul was praying for in the lives of the believers in Colosse. He did NOT pray for church growth, he did not pray for protection, he did not pray for great leaders… but Paul prayed for the spiritual maturity of the fellowship… knowing that when the fellowship was mature, God’s plan was going to be fulfilled and seen in that city…
Christian maturity should be the goal of all believers, but many of us are simply NOT there and are not even progressing in our walk with Christ. I once read what Rick Warren said about Spiritual Maturity…
He said that spiritual maturity occurs when a believer is willing to "take off the bib and put on an apron." Immature children wear bibs and expect others to meet their needs. Those who put on the apron of Christianity have learned the joy of serving others. So I guess I need you to ask yourself this evening, “Which are you wearing… an apron or a bib?”
Tonight I want us to look at 3 main points that I can find from this passage and I am going to simply go verse by verse and we are going to see just what and why Paul prayed what he prayed for these believers!
Firs of all we can see that…
1. Paul divulges the importance of prayer (v.9a)
9 “…For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you…”
Now I just want to touch on this point very briefly but it does not lessen its importance in this prayer from Paul. Here Paul emphasizes that because they were so thankful and excited about their fellowship that they had begun to pray for them and their prayer was a continual prayer!
So often we tell someone we are going to pray for them and we may mention them to God once… or not even at all, but here we find that Paul shares with us that prayer is IMPORTANT to the maturity of the fellowship…
And also when we make a commitment to pray for someone we should fulfill that commitment, not just ONE time but time and time again. The interceding for others is a special privilege that we have as believers!