Devoted to Prayer - Part ThreeRev. Michael Calvert, Ph.D., March 3, 2019
Part of the Colossians series.
On Sunday, as we take one final look at Colossians 4:2-4, we will again be considering the subject of prayer. And as we focus upon verses 3-4, we find the Apostle Paul laying out two specific requests that he asks the Colossians believers to remember in their prayers. What’s remarkable about these points of intercession is what Paul does not include.
Of course, he is in prison in Rome, and we might well expect him to request prayer for his release, and that he will not be sentenced to further imprisonment, or even death by the Roman tribunal. What we find instead are these two concerns:
One, “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.”
And two, “that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
If we compare these remarkable words to similar things he requested from the Philippians–who were also exhorted to pray for Paul at the same time–we can gain even more insight as to Paul’s primary concerns:
“for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:19-21).
In both of these passages, where the Apostle is laying out his deepest desires regarding himself, we discover a similar theme. He is most concerned about bringing glory to Christ through the accomplishment of his commission to preach the Gospel, and even if this means death.
The practical matter we will explore this coming Lord’s Day is how this ultimate concern of the Apostle Paul instructs us as we learn to pray, and to practice the kind of persistent intercessory praying commanded here. How does this ultimate concern for the gory of Christ, particularly by the extension of the Gospel, impact our daily praying for our Church, our families, and for our own lives?
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)