Scripture: Read Colossians 1:3-14; 4:2-4; and 4:12. The topic: the role of prayer. Why do you think Paul speaks so often of his own prayers and the prayer-life of others?
The minute you realize what it means to follow Christ, to be His disciple, you feel like you’ve been throw into the deep end of the pool…and you have. Christ is sending you and His church to change the world, a world controlled behind the scenes by “elemental spirits.” Demons are also called “the rulers and authorities” in 2:15.
The people surrounding your life are not aware of the spiritual forces that control how they think, what they value, how they see the world. A glimpse into the reality of this invisible world immediately introduces us into the realm in which we have been given spiritual authority, and this is where prayer becomes all-important. Paul tells us, “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in Him.” True, but the question is, What will we do about it? Will we contend in prayer for the church in this city?
Take Paul’s exhortation as a personal word from God to you: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (4:2). In other words, stay alert yourself by being faithful in prayer and then God will use you just as He did Epaphras. No one understood the situation in Colossae better than Epaphras, because this church was planted by him. He knew the intensity of the battle raging in Colossae, and Paul describes him as “always struggling (as in fighting) on your behalf in his prayers that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God” (4:12).
When God is about to make a serious move in a city, he begins by stirring up His church to pray.
1. What does Paul’s exhortation, “in prayer being watchful in it,” mean to you? ________________
2. When you find that you are not spending much time in prayer, how does that affect your life?
3. What things could you adjust in your life to make more time for prayer? ____________________
4. Who might you ask to be a prayer-partner so that you both would be encouraged? ___________
- Invite the Holy Spirit to anoint you to pray this very morning.
- Be still for a few minutes and just wait in God’s presence letting Him do whatever He wants. By faith receive His affection for you.
- Pray for your church to be used by God today in your city.