Summary: Paul shares three ways to pray for other more effectively.
We are starting a new series entitled, "Making a Difference Our World." We will be going through the book of Colossians. If you have a Bible, turn with me to Col 1.
There is is something within all of us that wants to make a difference. It not a de-sire to be a super star or famous, it is this longing that we would make a difference in the every day lives that we live.
In Colossian1 we learn the first way to make a difference in the world… that is through prayer.
You will not make a difference in your world until you pray for your world!
"You can do more than pray, after you have prayed," wrote A. J. Gordon, "but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed."
Prayer connects with God.
Martin Luther said, "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.
Today we are going to look at How can we pray prayers that will really make a differ-ence.
3 ways to prayer more effectively for others!
1. PRAY more Insightfully .
We many we even want to pray more, but what do we pray about?
"...since the day we heard about you…" Colossians 1:9 (NIV)
Ep-af-RAS had gone and visited Paul in Rome and told them about the Colossians People!
Difference between gossip and prayer requests.
For example, we can say to ourselves, "Christians don’t gossip. They just share prayer requests!" Sometimes prayer requests are really prayer requests. But too often they are gossip wrapped in prayer shawls.
It was founded under the ministry of a man named Epaphras, who is introduced in the opening verses of this letter
"Bless the missionaries" prayers…
Paul prayed for People
Take time to learn about people. SMALL GROUPS!
Paul cared about people. The primary way he showed his love was praying for them!
One of Paul’s trademarks in his epistles is the assurance of his prayers on behalf of the recipients. To the Romans he remarked, "I make men-tion of you always in my prayers" (Rom. 1:9-10). To the Ephesians he wrote, "I...do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers" (Eph. 1:15-16). To his beloved Philippian church, he tells, "I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always offering prayer with joy in my every prayer for you all" (Phil. 1:3-4).
"I thank my God upon every remembrance of you." Philippians 1:3 (NKJV)
see Rom. 1:9-10;Eph. 1:15-16
Action Step: DEVELOP A PRAYER JOURNAL
2. PRAY more CONSISTENTLY .
"we do not cease to pray for you." Colossians 1:9b (NIV)
"…Men always ought to pray and not lose heart." Luke 18:1 (NKJV)
Prayer is hard work!
The Example of Epaphras
"Epaphras… always laboring fervently for you in prayers…"
Colossians 4:12-13 (NKJV)
Action Step: DETERMINE A TIME AND A PLACE
Seek to maintain a regular pattern of daily prayer. This may necessitate a set time and place where you lay others’ needs before the throne of grace. You may have to be somewhat flexible in your scheduling, and that is okay, just know that prayer is a disciplined work. It will require your diligent, conscientious attention. If you don’t make plans to pray, you probably won’t!
3. PRAY more SCRIPTURALLY.
a. Pray for God’s PURPOSE .-his will (vs. 9)
"…asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding." Colossians 1:9 (NIV)
This is a constant question we ask - What is God’s will? Here Paul is praying that God would fill people with the knowledge of His Will.
"FILLED" v. 9
Not just a small measure
But satiated, with a full measure
It is not God’s desire that we try to "just get by with as little as necessary"
THROUGH all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
"Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is." Eph 5:17
Ultimately Prayer is a way of getting God’s will not our will. We pray, not to control God, but for God to control us.
Taught us to pray, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus in the garden before he was betrayed and crucified said ot the Fa-ther, Not my will, but your will be done.
Prayer is seeking God’s will! Every prayer is a prayer of Your WILL BE DONE!
What is God’s PURPOSE?
Now we have all asked at one time or another, what is God’s will for my life? Or, every Christian parent has prayed for God’s will to become clear to his/her children. God, what is your will about this? We need to know God’s will, and so we need, as verse 9 puts it, wisdom and insight to discern what it is when we meet it because sometimes God’s will is so clear but we are distracted by the way our culture would see things instead of the way God sees them.