Summary: Message 27 in our Colossians study address Paul's admonition to be devoted to prayer.
Chico Alliance Church
“Devoted to Prayer”
The subject of this passage is not too hard to discover. Paul addresses the subject of prayer.
This morning I want to try to describe the basic idea of prayer.
After we understand the basic concept of prayer, we want look further as to what Paul has to say about Prayer in regard to the Christian’s everyday walk. Volumes of information have been written concerning this subject.
Thousands of sermons have been preached on the subject prayer. It is my feeling today, that we know much more about prayer than we practice. Our problem is not lack of knowledge, our problem is lack of practice and motivation and fervency regarding communication with the Almighty. Prayer is really not all that complicated. Prayer is talking with God. Within the context of our conversation with God, we express our feelings, we share our dreams, we express our feelings toward God, we ask for help and insight for ourselves and for those we care about and we tell God how wonderfully is. So when Paul talks about prayer in this passage as well as in other passages, he simply refers to the activity of conversation with God. Paul's passion for prayer is not theoretical. Paul demonstrated a passion to talk with God all throughout his life. Paul understood just how critical this continual connection with the Almighty God was. It is my guess that it was this conviction motivated the frequency and intensity of Paul’s prayer life. Jesus, who was Himself God, modeled for us the same kind of attitude and practice regarding conversation with the Father. Jesus talked to the Father because He wanted to and needed to.
To ask why we should talk to the Father is like asking why a child should talk to their parents. If we understood the wonder of our restored relationship with the Father, we would delight in the privilege of one on one conversation.
1. PRAYER FACILITATES INTIMACY WITH GOD
• I share of myself
Conversation with my Father should flow out of the deeper levels of my soul.
I share my general observations about life and events.
I share my opinions and thoughts and ideas.
I share my innermost feelings, dreams and frustrations.
• I learn of Him
WHEN I NEGLECT PRAYER
The more I neglect honest sharing of myself and humble listening to God, the less intimacy I will actually experience with God. I will eventually go through the motions of prayer without meaningful communication. I will employ the jargon of prayer without enjoying the closeness of the relationship. I will engage in the exercise of talking without the enthusiasm of sharing. The reality of intimate relationship with God cannot be experienced without the continual practice of meaningful communication.
2. PRAYER FOSTERS HUMBLE DEPENDENCE
1--The very act of asking demonstrates the necessary attitude of humble dependence
2--Exposing helplessness and vulnerability deepens our sense of intimacy.
3--The act of asking builds relationship
WHEN I NEGLECT PRAYER
The neglect of continual prayer in my life, is a sure demonstration of pride in my life. Neglect of prayer exposes the same spirit of independence that bumped Adam and Eve off track in the beginning. Prayerlessness indicates that I place more confidence in my own abilities and talents than in the work of God's power promised through prayer. Failure to continually keep touch with the Master reveals a self-sufficient attitude of pride that God must resist.
The Spirit of God works in response to the prayers of the saints.
"Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit says the LORD."
We think that somehow, in our day of potent programs and phenomenal organizational skills and leadership seminars, we can prosper and grow while ignoring the very element that caused the early church to flourish -- prayer. It is time that we realized that fact that without continual communication with the Lord ... WE - CAN - DO - NOTHING.
3. PRAYER FURTHERS GOD'S WORK
WHEN WE NEGLECT PRAYER
When we neglect our prayer life, we experience far less than what we could have enjoyed and realized, had practiced communication with God. We lose His peace, His provision, His plan, the joy of seeing others set free, our reward. Part of the initial shock of entering heaven might be to realize what could have been accomplished had we prayed.
Christ could not do many miracles in Nazareth because of their unbelief. How are we hindering the work of Christ at Chico by our unbelief illuminated by our lack of humble prayer. God’s work in this world rests on our prayers and he has promised to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think. If we fail to ask or think, we will never experience what He had in His mind for us. You have not because you ask not or because you ask with self-centered rather than kingdom-centered motives. This is not to say that God's overall plan is in jeopardy because His saints neglect to pray. Prayer is His way and He will bring about His glorious product through our prayers. "Thy kingdom come."