Summary: Paul gives us a strong example of how to pray for the church.
Praying Like Paul For The Church
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God,
11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully
12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light.
We know Paul as a mighty missionary. Paul started churches around the Roman Empire. He boldly preached the message of Christ. Paul was also a prayer warrior. Repeatedly in his letters to the churches Paul gives testimony of his prayers. He prayed for the churches. He prayed for fellow workers. He prayed for the saints. He prayed for God’s will to be done in and through the church.
Like Paul, we must constantly pray for the church. Oakwood needs the fervent prayers of it’s people. In Colossians 1:9-11 we find a prayer of Paul that can serve as a model for us as we pray for the church. How should be pray for the church?
I. They We Might Know The Will Of God
A. This is God’s church. Not doing the will of God should be a ridiculous notion for the church
B. 9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.
C. Pray that God’s will is clear to the leaders and the church as a whole. When we see God’s will clearly then we must choose- follow his will or turn from it.
II. That We Might Walk In The Way Of God
A. To see God’s will is one thing, to walk in it is another.
B. 10 And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way
C. We must pray that as a church we will have the courage to do God’s will.
D. God’s way is not always an easy path. God’s way requires obedience and faith.
E. It should be our desire to please God in every way. Pray that we will always seek to walk in God’s way.
III. That We Might Do The Work Of God
A. We are to be about God’s work
B. 10 "bearing fruit in every good work"
C. If the church ceases to effectively do God’s work then why does that church even exist. Our primary function as a church is to carry out God’s Kingdom Work. Anything less is contrary to God’s purpose for the church.
D. Carry out his work- worship Him, disciple His people, evangelize the lost world, minister to people with needs, and fellowship together a body.
E. Pray that we will seek to do God’s work.
IV. That We Might Grow In The Knowledge Of God
A. As a church we are on a journey of growth. It is God’s desire for each of us to grow in our faith. Paul refers to this as growing "in the knowledge of God."
1. 10 growing in the knowledge of God,
B. We must pray that we will grow deeper in our faith. On another occasion Paul reprimanded a church for not growing as they should.
1. 1 Cor 3:1-2 1 Brothers, I could not address you as spiritual but as worldly-- mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready.
C. Often churches are simply spiritually immature. They have a very limited understanding of the "things of God." How can a spiritually immature church be effective in God’s work?
D. This year we will begin a comprehensive, intentional discipleship ministry designed to move us from the "milk" of the Word to the "meat" of the Word.
E. In the years to come the opportunities before us will be great but they must be met spiritual maturity. Pray that we will grow in the knowledge of God and that we will continually mature in our faith.
V. That We Might Have The Power Of God
A. We must pray that we will work and serve in the power of God.
1. 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might
B. Church work is hard. God’s Kingdom Work is difficult by its very nature. We cannot do His work in our own power. Our strength fades but God’s power is everlasting and abundant.