Devoted to Prayer - Part TwoRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., February 24, 2019
Part of the Colossians series.
This coming Sunday we will return to Colossians 4:2-4. As you know, the subject at hand here is prayer (v. 2). The Apostle Paul exhorts the Church to be steadfast in corporate prayer, and equally persistent in personal prayer. And we also learned that there are two features of this steadfast praying. The first is constant watchfulness (v. 2), and the second is thanksgiving (v. 2).
Then, beginning in verse 3, Paul requests prayers for himself and for his ministry associates (vv. 3-4). Of course, we recall that Paul is in prison in Rome, and it is understandable that there would be many needs facing him. So he turns to his brothers and sisters for help, and for help through the ministry of persistent prayer.
Look again at this passage:
“At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak” (4:3-4).
As we give attention to this remarkable passage once again on Sunday, I need to ask for your kind indulgence. I sense the need to go very slowly and methodically through this portion of the Apostle’s letter. In fact, the Lord willing, we will turn again to this this passage for a third time on March 3. But I believe that this subject of prayer is of such vital importance for us that I cannot permit myself to go any faster! So this week, we want to zero in on just four words that we find here in verse 3: “pray also for us.”
In the first place, as we examine these four words we can observe three basic truths concerning prayer that are very strongly implied here:
Our persistent prayers matter, and they really make a difference.
Our persistent prayers are made effectual by God’s sovereign and eternal designs.
Our persistent prayers have been commanded by our Father who loves us.
Then, we will discover two major lessons concerning persistent praying that will encourage us as we give ourselves to this sacred duty:
Our Father takes great delight in our persistent praying.
Our Father sanctifies us by our persistent praying.
Along with this passage from Colossians, let me also invite you to read and reflect upon one of the blessed parables that Jesus told. In Luke 18:1-8 our Lord spoke of the persistent widow and the unrighteous judge. And He gave us this particular parable for the express purpose of teaching us “always to pray,” and to do so with steadfastness, and not to give up our “lose heart” (v. 1).
2Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; 3Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: 4That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. (KJV)