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Summary: We are to pray so that we might commune with God and share with Him the most deeply felt needs of our lives. We are to express to God the gratitude and the praise and the joy we feel in Him and in salvation. Paul elaborated on the purpose of prayer.

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Title: The Purpose of Prayer

Text: “Meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” (Colossians 1:3-4).

Bible Reading: Colossians 4:1-4

Introduction:

A pastor is invited to a family’s home for Sunday supper.

The mother brings in the food and they all sit down at the table to eat.

But, before anyone says grace, the children start to eat.

The embarrassed mother gives them a quick reprimand, while the children stare in confusion.

The pastor then offers grace in the stunned silence.

The mother explains, “We don’t always say grace before meals at our house.”

Of course, this has been fairly obvious, but the pastor butters his roll and waits, because he knows there is another line to the script.

“We just take it for granter that God knows how grateful we are.”

Folks, why should we pray?

God does know how grateful we are.

That’s the way it is according to the logic of the dinner table.

The trouble with this kind of attitude is that it doesn’t stay at the dinner table.

It leaves the table and roams all over the house.

And soon we find ourselves saying, “Why pray at all? God knows everything that we need.”

Didn’t Jesus Himself say that God knows all that we need before we even ask Him?”

But Jesus also said, “Therefore, do pray.”

This line of reasoning might lead a person to ask, “What if God refuses to read His children’s mail unless it is addressed to Him?”

We are to pray so that we might commune with God and share with Him the most deeply felt needs of our lives.

We are to express to God the gratitude and the praise and the joy we feel in Him and in salvation.

Paul elaborated on the purpose of prayer in Colossians 4:2-4.

That’s the text for today’s message.

2 Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;

3 meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains,

4 that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.”

I want to say two things about prayer.

1. The purpose of prayer is seen in the manner of prayer.

Verse 2 said, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.”

“Continue earnestly in prayer,” means that we are to pray with perseverance.

Prayer is not to be a spasmodic outburst in a moment of emergency, but it should be persistent calling on God for His guidance and blessing.

Christians should take advantage of every opportunity to pray.

And they should choose those times and places that will have the fewest distractions.

In addition to praying with perseverance, we are to pray with watchfulness.

These two words go together: Pray and watch.

They are very important.

They remind me of an experience that Nehemiah had when the enemy tried to stop him from rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem.


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