Summary: Why should we pray? God knows how grateful we are! There is a big problem with this kind of attitude and then the issue becomes, Why pray at all? God knows all that we need! We may even quote our Lord when He said that God knows all that we need bef
Colossians 4:1-6 (NIV)
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.
Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone
1 The purpose of prayer
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should”.
Colossians 4:2-4 (NIV)
Imagine for a moment a minister is invited to a family’s home for Sunday Tea. Before anyone says grace, the children start to eat. The embarrassed mother gives them a quick reprimand, while the children stare at her in confusion. The minister then says grace in the strained silence.
The mother explains, “We don’t always say grace before meals”.
Now to the minister this is fairly obvious, but he keeps quiet because he knows that there is another line to the script. The mother says, “We just take it for granted that God knows how grateful we are!”.
2 Why should we pray?
God knows how grateful we are! That was the logic at the dinner table. The trouble with this kind of attitude is that it does not just appear at the dinner table. – It leaves the table and wanders all over the house – and then the issue becomes, Why pray at all? God knows all that we need! We may even quote our Lord when He said that God knows all that we need before we even ask Him.
But the Lord Jesus’ conclusion was – “Therefore, do pray”.
F B Speakman in his book, Love is something you do, reasons in the same way, “What if God refuses to read His children’s mail unless it is addressed to Him?”
When we pray, we pray so that we can communicate with our Lord. Prayer is an opportunity to share with our Father the most deeply felt needs of our lives. We should take every opportunity to express to God our gratitude and praise and the joy we feel in Him and the precious gift of salvation.
Paul elaborated on the purpose of prayer here in Colossians 4:24
3 The purpose of Prayer is seen in the manner of prayer (v. 2).
a). We are to pray with perseverance. Prayer is not to be a spasmodic outburst in a moment of emergency, but persistent calling on god for his guidance and blessing.
b) We are to pray with watchfulness. This word literally means to be wakeful, to be alert when we pray. Prayer should never be reserved solely for times of crises. We should pray before the crisis comes so that we have the spiritual resources we need to meet the testing time. Napoleon said that battles are not won on the battlefield; rather, they are won at the conference table in the planning meetings before the battle has ever begun.
c) We are to pray with gratitude. We need to be thankful for what the Lord has done. Each moment of our lives is a blessing. The apostle Paul stated that in whatever situation he found himself he would praise the Lord.
3 The purpose of prayer is seen in the object of prayer
a) We are to pray that God will give us an open door of service. Remember that Paul was in prison when he wrote this letter to the Colossians. He could have prayed for many things while he was in prison – release, the favourable outcome of the trial, comfort, rest – bit Paul prayed that God would give him an opportunity to minister.
b) We are to pray that God will help us to take advantage of our opportunity for service. To pray for the open door, an opportunity for service is just half the prayer. We are to pray also for the courage and ability to take advantage of the opportunity that is there. Paul wanted the Colossians to pray that he might be able to “proclaim the mystery of Christ.” This should be our prayer too.
This is the purpose of Prayer:
We pray that we might commune with God with persistence, watchfulness, and thankfulness in order to have opportunities to witness for Christ and the strength to take those opportunites.
1 A witness to the world Colossians 4:5-6 (NIV)
“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone”