The Sunset pastor continued our “Raised with Christ” theme with a message, “How Should We Pray?” The text was from Colossians 1:9-12: “We have not stopped praying for you….”
We come today to one of the most important activities Christians do—prayer. In the early church, the disciples “devoted themselves to … prayer.” [Acts 2:42]
There is no more significant work that we can do than prayer—prayer paves the way for everything else.
Human activity without prayer is just that—human activity. But human activity with fervent prayer for divine assistance is more than human—it is supernatural activity. It is God’s work through us his people.
The pastor made two points: (1) Always Praying; and (2) Kingdom Prayer.
(1) Always Praying. V9: “Since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you.” Paul said we are always praying for you.
God our heavenly Father never tires of listening to and answering your prayers. It’s like this: Those of our human fathers who were good loved to see us running to them. If we avoided them because our hand was in the cookie jar when it wasn’t supposed to be, they were sad to see us hide from them.
Our heavenly Father has great compassion for us his wayward children. He is full of forgiveness and grace. When we make a mistake, let us run to him and he will forgive us—not away from him, where there is no life.
Keep on praying. Time spent in prayer is never wasted time.
(2) Kingdom Prayer. What is kingdom prayer? Jesus said, “May your kingdom come, your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Kingdom prayer is a request for God’s will, rule and reign to be evident and strong in our lives, and in those around us. There are five aspects of kingdom prayer in Paul’s prayer for the Colossians.
(a) V9, “Asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” God wants us to know his will. If we don’t know his will, we’re apt to do anything, and go off the rail into the devil’s ditch.
Ask: “God, what do you want me to do today, this year, and in my life? How should I think and act in this situation I face?”
Then, we know his will “through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.” Not my fatally flawed human wisdom, but with spiritual wisdom from God. We learn it through his holy word, by listening to godly people, and through God’s answers to our prayers for wisdom.
(b) V10, “That you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way.” A good prayer: Lord, Help me to walk in your way, not my way; help me to honor you, not my sinful desires.
Is what I’m fixing to do pleasing to God? Ask, then listen to Him. May my life be worthy of the price Jesus paid to buy me back from the clutches of the evil one.
(c) V10, “Bearing fruit in every good work.” Bearing fruit has to do with the expression of the good that God is working in my heart. Jesus said He prunes the non-fruit bearing dead branches which then go to the burn pile.
Paul said the good fruit of the Spirit in us is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.
(d) Knowing God. V10, “Growing in the knowledge of God.” Not knowledge about God, but knowing God in a trusting relationship as a child trusts his good earthly father.
(e) V11, “Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might….” In Christ we have divine power at work within us. We belong to God, and He to us: God Himself works in us.
“All who worship images are put to shame, those who boast in idols—worship him, all you gods! For you, O Lord, are the Most High over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.” [Psalm 97:7-9]
May we all worship the only Creator God this week, and come to know him—our prayer for you from your friends at Sunset Christian Church.