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Monday, November 5, 2012

Colossians...Finish Strong!

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Week 8 is finally here!  I cannot believe that I have already spent eight weeks in the book of Colossians.  As we head into chapter four, the final chapter of the book, Paul again speaks about prayer.  With prayer being one of the first topics covered in this letter and one of the last it becomes obvious how important prayer was to Paul, and how important it should be in our lives.

In Colossians 4:2-3, Paul states, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
Withal 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:"

His plea is, "PRAY for us!" 
Paul was imprisoned many times for preaching God's Word.  He was just as human as they were, subject to the same temptations, doubts, and fears.  He needed prayer in order to stay faithful to the hard task of taking the gospel of Christ to the Gentiles.

As you have been praying, keep praying!
How many times have I started a prayer journal, a prayer card, a prayer list, only to lose it, forget about it, or neglect to use it not long after?  The answer is many.

As you pray, be diligent, be vigilant!
 Stay awake in your prayer life!  Don't get stuck in a rut of rote prayers.  We serve a Risen Savior, and we pray to a LIVING GOD!

As you pray, give thanks!
We are quick to say that we give thanks all of the time.  We thank God for our food three times a day.  When we get an unexpected blessing we are the first to say, "Thank you, Lord!".  I think Paul's idea of giving thanks goes a little deeper.  Thank God for Who is and for what He does and is doing and will do in your life!

As you pray, pray for open doors!
Pray that God would open up a door to share the Gospel message with others.  Paul had been imprisoned for preaching Christ, but he didn't care.  He didn't even pray to get out of prison.  His focus was not on the temporal, but on the eternal.   His prayer was for more opportunities to preach the gospel!  To the world this seems like insanity, but for believers this is the whole point.  The reason why we are here is to PROCLAIM CHRIST! 

Paul is basically saying, "Pray for us as we have prayed for you."  Be specific.  Pray with thanksgiving.  Pray with spiritual goals in mind.  Pray to be a useful witness for Christ.

Then do some self-evaluation.

How diligent am I in praying for others what I ask them to pray for me?

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