I heard an awesome sermon this past Sunday!
Every so often Dr. Lon Allison preaches at our church. Lon is the Director of the Billy Graham Center at Wheaton College, and he is just an awesome man whose joy in the Lord is SO evident every time he teaches. This past Sunday he taught from Colossians 2: 2-4, ESV version:
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 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— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
The apostle Paul wrote the book of Colossians, probably in the early 60s A.D. (and the book’s truth still endures today! God is so smart….).
Paul was writing to the people of Colossae. They were in need of Godly encouragement after false teachings had infiltrated their church. Paul sent this letter to remind the Colossians of the superiority of Jesus over everything else. And because God is superior over everything else, he deserves to hear from us in prayer.
Let's re-read verse 2: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
So often I find myself going through my days without speaking to or listening to God. I just “forget”, and allow my mind to become so busy that I tell myself I do not have time to spend praying.
The scriptures tell us to continue – 1) steadfastly in prayer.
Steadfastly = pursuing diligently/with perseverance/not giving up!
Why be steadfast? Why not say one prayer that will "cover" you for the whole week? Or whole year?
Dr. Lon reminded us this Sunday that constant prayer moves the hand of God. God listens to us and loves us, and He wants to bless His children. Our prayers may not always be answered the way we want them to be, but God listens and MOVES when His children pray to Him.
Steadfast prayer is also what we need. In order to develop a relationship with our Heavenly Father, we need to talk to Him! Would you talk to your best friend in January, ignore them until August, and expect to be in the same place with your relationship? Of course not! In order to gain an understanding of who God is, we need to speak to Him as OFTEN as we can!
Colossians also tells us to be – 2) watchful in prayer.
Do you write down your prayers? Do you keep a journal? What about a list of what you are praying for?
I tell you, it is an amazing thing to look back on your prayer notes and see what God has done since they were first prayed. Being watchful means to be aware of God’s moving. It means to follow up on the prayer requests of friends and relatives and see what has happened in their lives. As you continue steadfastly in your prayer life, watch for God’s responses. All too often we forget to follow through and praise God for what he does!
Which brings me to the last point Paul makes here about prayer – 3) giving thanks.
I am so good at giving God a laundry list of my problems and needs. So good at it that I frequently forget to give Him praise for who He is. Just being our Creator means that he deserves our endless praise and thanksgiving! Our selfishness leads us to pray for our desires only – which God will listen to with joy – yet, he deserves so much more than our complaints and quibbles. He is the Almighty, and we need to remember to PRAISE HIM for BEING OUR SAVIOR!
So, I challenge you today to be steadfastly devoted to watchful prayers, and never forget to give thanks.
I love Christian music, and I leave you today with one of my favorite worship songs that lead me to break out into prayers of thanksgiving! Listen and be blessed today.