Summary: Our prayers can be more powerful if we model them after prayers such as this one from the Bible.
“I pray for you”
What does it do for you when someone says, “I pray for you”? A missionary and his family were forced to camp outside on a hill. They were carrying money and they were fearful that thieves might rob them. After spending time in prayer, they finally fell asleep. Several months later, a man that had been injured was taken to the mission hospital. He asked the missionary if on that special night they had soldiers guarding them. The man said to him, “We intended to rob you, but we were afraid of the twenty-seven soldiers.”
When the missionary returned to his homeland, he shared this story with his church. One of the members responded, “We had a prayer meeting that night, and I took roll. There were just twenty-seven of us present.”
I think that all of us would agree at least with mental and verbal assent that there is great power in prayer. Some of you though may have never seen anything happen as a result of your prayers. Your prayers seem to lack power. Part of the reason for that may be because you really don’t know how to pray. This morning, we are going to look at the prayer that Paul prayed for the Colossian Christians. It is a powerful prayer, and I can guarantee that everything in it is completely within the will of God. God had a desire to do the things Paul asked for in the lives of the Colossians. God has a desire to accomplish these things in the lives of the people that you pray for. God has a desire to accomplish these things in your life.
We’re going to look at 4 keys to praying powerful prayers as they are found in Colossians 1:8-14 (quickview) . We’re not going to spend a lot of time – at least not as much as we normally do looking at this passage. I’m going to explain it in the clearest and most concise terms I know how, and then, we’re going to put it into practice. So pay attention. You’re going to be using what you hear before you leave this morning.
1. Prayer is powerful when it has the right duration. “not stopped praying”
First response – “since the day we heard”
- Everything that Epaphras told Paul about what was going on a Colossae was positive. People were getting saved; the church was stong. Yes, there were some dangers on the horizon, but there was no immediate threat. Things were good at Colossae. Even in that type of positive situation, Paul’s first response was to pray for them.
- I imagine that many if not all of you have spent a considerable amount of time in prayer. We are quick to get down on our knees and pray when there is some type of crisis whether that crisis be personal or national.
- Did you ever think that if prayer was our first response to every situation and every person that we encounter in our lives that we might actually end up preventing much of the crises that we face? That’s exactly what Paul was trying to do here – he was praying for them that they would stay strong so that they would not have to face a theological crisis and have to deal with its consequences.