Faithlife Sermons

Sunday Sermon Colossians 4:2-6 (3)

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Introduction

Praise God from whom all blessings flow! Praise Him all creatures here below!
Thank you for that message of music and for all you do!
Welcome to First Community Church, where we worship God in Spirit and in Truth, one verse at a time, one book at a time.
We are so glad that you have joined us today for worship and for the Word, we pray that God speaks to you today and fills your cup to overflowing.

Read Colossians 4:2-6

Colossians 4:2–6 NKJV
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains, that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward those who are outside, redeeming the time. Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned with salt, that you may know how you ought to answer each one.

Prayer

Heavenly Father, we come to you this morning with a sincere desire to be fed with the bread of heaven. Please remove all distractions, settle our minds and hearts on you and like the Psalmist asked in Psalm 119, please open our eyes that we may see wondrous things from your Word and Lord please revive us according to your loving kindness and your Word this Lord’s Day. Please continue to comfort and grant peace to Brent and Vickie Knowles with the loss of his father John. And for all others that have suffered loss and shipwreck please draw near. As we open your Word now, we ask you, the Great Physician and the Master surgeon to do heart surgery on us.
In Jesus Name, we Love You, Amen!

Review

We have come as far as verse 2, in Chapter 4 and have decided to tabernacle here for one more Sunday because prayer is of the utmost importance.
As you remember, Colossians chapters 3 and 4 deal with practical Christianity which flows out from the fact that all Christians share the spiritual life of Christ.
Because Christians are resurrected with Christ, we have seen it affects how we live as husbands and wives, how children obey parents and fathers discipline children, how it affects employees and employers.
Now the Apostle Paul shows that our life in Christ affects how we live in this world and how we are to face and interact with people who are unbelievers.
If we go all the way back to Colossians 1, we will find out that he opens the letter with talking about prayer, and here in this closing chapter he closes the letter in prayer:
Colossians 1:3 NKJV
We give thanks to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you,
Colossians 1:9 NKJV
For this reason we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding;
Church, prayer should be the beginning and the ending of all things church.
It should become the heart beat of our lives.
God Owns the Cattle on a Thousand Hills
In its early days, Dallas Theological Seminary was in critical need of $10,000 to keep the work going. During a prayer meeting, renowned Bible teacher Harry Ironside, a lecturer at the school, prayed, “Lord, you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some of those cattle to help us meet this need.” Shortly after the prayer meeting, a check for $10,000 arrived at the school, sent days earlier by a friend who had no idea of the urgent need or of Ironside’s prayer. The man simply said the money came from the sale of some of his cattle!
Let dive in and see what the Lord has for us in the study of His Word
Colossians 4:2 NASB95
Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
We see three imperatives Paul lays out for us here in verse 2.
Paul instructs us to be devoted in prayer- we must be persistent or persevere in prayer church and not lose heart.
We are to be watchful in prayer by keep alert.
We are to have an attitude of thanksgiving in prayer
The last few weeks we talked about persevering or persistent prayer and I want to pick up that thought in the book of Luke

Read Luke 18:1-8

Luke 18:1–8 NKJV
Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man. Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘Get justice for me from my adversary.’ And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man, yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.’ ” Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said. And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them? I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”
Church, Luke mentions widows more than do all the other Gospel writers combined (Luke 2:37–38; 4:25–26; 7:11–17; 18:1–8; 20:45–47; 21:1–4).
In that day, widows usually had a difficult time making ends meet, in spite of the care God instructed His people to give them (Ex. 22:22–24; Deut. 14:28–29; 16:9–15; Ps. 146:9; Isa. 1:17, 23; Jer. 7:6).
The early church was serious about the care of Christian widows (Acts 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:3–10; James 1:27), a good example for us to follow today.
As we look this parable, we must look through the eyes of the Eastern world, the world that Jesus lived in.
In the East church, The “courtroom” was not a fine building but a tent that was moved from place to place as the judge covered his circuit.
The judge, not the law, set the agenda; and he sat like a king in the tent, surrounded by his assistants. Anybody could watch the proceedings from the outside, but only those who were approved and accepted could have their cases tried. This usually meant bribing one of the assistants so that he would call the judge’s attention to the case.
The widow had three obstacles to overcome.
First, being a woman she, therefore, had little standing before the law.
In the Palestinian society of our Lord’s day, women did not go to court. Since she was a widow, she had no husband to stand with her in court.
Last, she was poor and could not pay a bribe even if she wanted to. No wonder poor widows did not always get the protection the law was supposed to afford them!
Now that we understand something of the setting of this parable, we can better understand what Jesus was teaching.
Basically, He was encouraging His disciples to pray, and He did this by presenting several contrasts:
Praying contrasted with fainting (v. 1). If we don’t pray, we will faint; it’s as simple as that! The word faint describes a believer who loses heart and gets so discouraged that he or she wants to quit.
“If a poor widow got what she deserved from a selfish judge, how much more will God’s children receive what is right from a loving Heavenly Father!”
The woman had no friend at court to help get her case on the docket. All she could do was walk around outside the tent and make a nuisance of herself as she shouted at the judge.
But when Christian believers pray, they have in heaven a Saviour who is Advocate (1 John 2:1) and High Priest (Heb. 2:17–18), who constantly represents them before the throne of God.
When we pray, we can open the Word and claim the many promises of God, but the widow had no promises that she could claim as she tried to convince the judge to hear her case.
We not only have God’s unfailing promises, but we also have the Holy Spirit, who assists us in our praying (Rom. 8:26–27).
Romans 8:26–27 NKJV
Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.
Church, for a Christian to experience real life in a real world, he must be devoted to prayer. 
Colossians 4:2 should be translated, “Be constantly and continually devoting yourself to prayer.” 
The bottom line it that it implies fervor, persistence and perseverance in prayer.  We must not give up in prayer.
One of the very first indications that our spiritual life is slipping is that we stop praying, or make excuses for prayerlessness, or begin to think that prayer is not important.
“I’d rather be able to pray than be a great preacher; Jesus Christ never taught His disciples how to preach, but only how to pray.”—D. L. Moody
Colossians 4:2 NKJV
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving;
So we now move from being devoted in prayer, to being watchful in prayer:
Vigilant/Watchful- grēgoreō-to watch, to stay awake, to be alert. metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active, to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one.
Literally “to watch” means to keep awake, suggesting constant spiritual alertness.
When I think of being watchful and alert or staying awake, I immediately think of the disciples and Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane where 3 times Jesus came to them and found them a sleep on the eve of his betrayal.
Jesus just got done pleading with the Father that the cup of God’s wrath would be passed from him:
Luke 22:41–43 NKJV
And He was withdrawn from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and prayed, saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.” Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him.
Matthew 26:44–46 NKJV
So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. Then He came to His disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”
Luke 12:37 NKJV
Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them.
Mark 13:35 NKJV
Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning—
Church, we are called to be watchful in prayer, to be alert and supping at all times with our heavenly father.
Revelation 3:20 KJV 1900
Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.
Church, prayer is the most important and crucial expression ‘of our life in Christ.
Someone once said, “ A prayerless Christian is a contradiction in kind. “
Without prayer, we will never mature as a Christian.
With prayer, we can only grow in power and spiritual strength.
Prayer is one of the basic means to resist temptations.
Luke 22:45–46 NKJV
When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.”
Matthew 6:13 NKJV
And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.
Someone has said, “If prayer does not drive sin out of your life, sin will drive prayer out.” P
Prayer is basic to knowing God’s will.
Prayer is fundamental in the reaching of the lost for Christ!
Prayer is to be constant and steady.
1 Thessalonians 5:16–18 NKJV
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.
First Thessalonians 5:16 says, “Pray continually” or “Pray without ceasing.” Literally this means, “Pray with the frequency of a hacking cough.”
Prayer to the Christian is like breathing to the human body - both are essential for life.
The poet said it well: “Satan trembles when he sees the weakest saint upon his knees.”
If we are honest, we know that for the best of us there comes times when it seems our prayers get no higher than the ceiling.
When this happens, we must go on praying, for the person who prays cannot stay in a spiritual pit or a dry spiritual desert.
“When it is hardest to pray, we ought to pray hardest.”
We must pray our way through all spiritual valleys and not lose heart!
Martin Luther (1483-1546) on prayer:
“It is well to let prayer be the first employment in the early morning and the last in the evening. Avoid diligently those false and deceptive thoughts which say, “I will pray an hour hence; I must first perform this or that.” For with such thoughts a man quits prayer for business, which lays hold of and entangles him so that he comes not to pray the whole day long.”“Prayer is the most important thing in my life. If I should neglect prayer for a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.”“I am so busy now that if I did not spend two or three hours each day in prayer, I would not get through the day.”
We think we’re too busy to pray.
Luther thought he was too busy NOT to pray.
Church, I know what it’s like to be talking and having people falling asleep.
IllustrationFrom July 2006 Reader's Digest:Recently, a pastor fell asleep at the wheel and awoke just as he sideswiped a guardrail. When he got home, his wife peppered him with questions, trying to figure out what had happened. “Were you sleepy when you started to drive?” she asked. “No” he answered. “Then how did you fall asleep?” “I’m not sure,” he said. “There I was, going over my sermon...”
I wonder what God thinks when we fall asleep while we’re talking with Him?
Here are some tips I’ve learned over the years to stay awake while praying.
1. Open/close your eyes
Sometimes the things around us are distracting.Maybe some of us are just more ADD than others.This is why we often teach children to close their eyes and fold their hands when they pray – to keep them from getting distracted.Sometimes closing your eyes can be trouble if you’re sleepy, so open your eyes!
2. Take a walk
Get the blood pumping.
3. Use a list
My mind wanders and I get off track. If I have a list with the things that are important for me to pray for, I can keep on track.
4. Pray out loud
Hearing the sound of your own voice can help you stay alert and focused.If you’re self-conscious and taking a walk and you’re worried people will think you’re crazy talking to yourself, just put your Bluetooth earpiece on and people will think you’re talking to someone important. You are.
5. Coffee
Illustration: A grandmother was surprised by her 7 year old grandson one morning. He had made her coffee. She drank what was the worst cup of coffee in her life. When she got to the bottom, there were three of those little green army men in the cup. She said, “Honey, what are the army men doing in my coffee?” Her grandson said, “Grandma, it says on TV-‘The best part of waking up is soldiers in your cup!’”
What do you start your morning with?
The alertness that Paul is talking about is not just about staying awake, but rather being watchful and looking for opportunity to pray:
1 Peter 5:8–9 NKJV
Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.
Church a believer can no more expect to live a normal, happy spiritual life without prayer than a person can expect to sit in a darkroom, without ever being touched by sunlight, and hope to be healthy.
And when we pray, we must be careful about praying sweet, little, pet phrases, or praying mechanically, or with vain repetitions.
God wants prayer, more prayer and still more prayer from the heart, and He does not care about our eloquence.
One time when I was at a very spiritual low point in my Christian life, when everything seems mechanical and distasteful to me, when I was very tired and emotionally exhausted, we had some people come to our house. When they were leaving, we all stood in the foyer. It was about 11:00 in the evening. One of the men said, “Pastor Arnold, why don’t you lead us in prayer?” I bowed my head and began to pray, “Thank you Lord for this food...” I was in no way watching and alert in prayer, but running on mechanics.
We are not only to pray, but our prayers are to be filled with a spirit of thanksgiving.
An attitude of thanksgiving always produces a spirit of humility and gratefulness.
Philippians 4:6–7 NKJV
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
You know when one is praying and thanking God one cannot be negative or critical.
If we remember that when Paul wrote this letter he was in prison, we may immediately understand that Paul knew first hand of the importance of thankfulness in a prayer life, even in the most difficult of circumstances.
We can be thankful for:
God’s providence
The provision the Lord gives us
The prosperity He gives us so freely without condition
The pardon he gave us when he went to the Cross
Our position in Christ
His promises
His Presence in our lives
The Peace of God that surpasses all understanding
The purposes of God in our life that he uses all things for the good
the list goes on and on and on church.
Gratitude=Attitude=Altitude
The Lord has commanded us to give thanks throughout His Word.
When was the last time you gave thanks?

Prayer

Announcements

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Kevin’s Birthday
Bushes are gone and we want to say thank you to the Matwhich’s
Kevins Revelation Study

Benediction

Jude 20–21 NKJV
But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
THE LORD BLESS YOU!
YOUR MISSION STARTS NOW!

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