Summary: Talk is Cheap (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email:

Reading: Colossians chapter 4 verses 2-6:


• There are 800,000 in the English language,

• 300,000 are technical terms.

• The average person knows 10,000 words and uses 5,000 in everyday speech.

• A journalist knows approximately 15,000 and uses around 10,000.


Never underestimate the power of words:

• A judge speaks, and a man is condemned or set free.

• A physician speaks, and a person has surgery or he goes home from the hospital.

• A government official speaks, and millions of dollars can be spent or withheld.

• A preacher speaks and an individual can move from spiritual death to life!


• In our own personal lives we know the power of words;

• Words that can bless us and words that can cut us and hurt us.

Our Bible passage is about using words and it naturally falls into two parts:

• Verses 2-3: Prayer: Speaking to God about people.

• Verses 4-6: Evangelism: Speaking to people about God.

In these verses the apostle Paul points out for us three important ministries of speech:

(1). Speaking to God about people - Praying

(verses 2-3).

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message”.

Question: Do you find it easy to pray?

Answer: If the answer is no, then you are in good company!

• The wartime theologian and writer Dietrich Bonhoeffer, for example,

• Once admitted that his prayer experience was; “Something to be ashamed of”.

• The Great reformer, Martin Luther, anguished in prayer,

• Saving three of the best hours of the day to pray; yet he seldom seemed satisfied.

Go down through the list of Christian greats, we find one after another working hard at prayer,

• But frequently you will find they were dissatisfied,

• Some of them even woefully unhappy about their prayer life.

• E. M. Bounds, Alexander Maclaren, Samuel Rutherford, Hudson Taylor,

• John Henry Jowett, G. Campbell Morgan, Joseph Parker, Charles Haddon Spurgeon,

• F. B. Meyer, A. W. Tozer, H. A. Ironside, Billy Graham,

• Great men, strong Christian examples,

• Magnificent role models,

• Yet you can hardly find one of that number who was satisfied with his prayer life.

• Oh, they laboured in prayer, they believed in prayer, they taught and preached prayer;

• But they were all strugglers, who had to work hard at it!

• So if you struggle when it comes to prayer;

• Then you are in good company!

Paul in these verses gives us some advice regarding prayer:

(1). be faithful (verse 2a)

• “Devote yourselves to prayer”

• "Continue in prayer"

Quote: In his book ‘God Came Near’, Max Lucado tells this story:

• Norman Geisler, as a child, went to a certain Church;

• Because he was invited by some neighbourhood children.

• He went back to the same church for Sunday School classes for 400 Sundays.

• Each week he was faithfully picked up by a bus driver.

• Week after week he attended church,

• But never made a commitment to Christ.

• Finally, during his senior year in High School,

• After being picked up for church over 400 times, he did commit his life to Christ.

Max Lucado then makes the point:

• What if that bus driver had given up on Geisler at 395?

• What if the bus driver had said,

• “This kid is going nowhere spiritually, why waste any more time on him?”

• Well I think we know the answer!

In verse 2 the apostle Paul is saying when it comes to prayer:

• “Devote yourselves to prayer”

• "Continue in prayer"

• This means, Be steadfast; be devoted; keep on keep on keeping on;

• In other words don't quit!


Jacon Riss, quoted in Readers Digest.

• “I look at a stone cutter hammering away at a rock;

• A hundred times without so much as a crack showing in it.

• Yet at the 101st blow it splits in two.

• I know it was not the one blow that did it, but all that had gone on before”.

That’s why Paul says ‘keep on keeping on’:

• “Devote yourselves to prayer” or "Continue in prayer"

• In other words he says; ‘Don't quit!’

• Too many of us pray only when we feel like it; or when there is a crisis.

• In contrast Paul says be constantly in fellowship with God;


Be like Nehemiah when he came before Artaxerxex (chapter 2).

• He fired up an arrow prayer; a fax request, an email to God.

• In other words prayer was not just for mornings & evening devotions.

• Prayer to Nehemiah was part of his life;

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