Read His Words Before Ours!
Our world is dying.
Those of us walking with Jesus know the narrow road to life,
and we are commissioned to invite the perishing around us on the
journey to life everlasting. (Matthew 7:13-14)
The stakes couldn’t be higher.
This urgency drove Paul’s words to the Colossian church in chapter 4.
Having laid a foundation for Godly living in chapter 3, Paul now invites the Colossians to broaden their perspective to the lost world stretching out before them.
“Fellow saints,” he seems to say, “remember your transformation is unto transferral:
the transferral of lost souls from the Kingdom of Darkness into the Kingdom of Light.”
Paul extends the hand of ministry partnership to Colossian believers.
He begins by highlighting the power of prayer, fundamentally understanding the success of his local evangelism depends on a suffusion of supernatural power garnered by prayers of distant believers.
So too for us, sisters!
While evangelism may not be our main vocation, we are not sidelined!
Our supportive role is critical to the work of those on the mission field.
When the world is at stake, our prayers matter.
But how should we pray?
Verse 2 of this passage provides three main guidelines for powerful, supportive prayer.
First, we are to be STEADFAST in our prayers for those sharing the Gospel.
Consistency in prayer exponentially strengthens both the pray-er (growing both motivation and intensity within her) and the recipient.
Next, we are to be WATCHFUL in prayer.
When we get busy praying, the enemy gets busy opposing us. We need to be alert to his strategies, which he’s crafty enough to tailor to each of us. Head on a swivel, sisters, let’s fight to protect our prayers.
And finally, we are to be THANKFUL in prayer.
While the view from the trenches may be discouraging at times, it’s important to remember that ultimately, the victory has already been won. As we reflect on our testimonies, we are reminded God has been faithful and will be again.
We find ourselves infused with fresh hope and strength for the fight.
We’re ready to be consistent in our prayers,
alert to the strategies of the enemy to thwart us,
and gratefully confident that in the epic struggle for the world,
our God has already been declared Victor.
We’re ready to pray.
But what should we pray?
Verses 3-4 provide timely guidance.
First, Paul requests prayer “also for us”.
Again, this refers to those whose main vocation is spreading the Gospel, whether local or far distant. Specifically, Paul shares a deep desire to make the most of “open door” moments: those special opportunities to share Jesus in unusually effective ways. These are not day-to-day conversations with a single person, but rather unique openings to minister on a large scale.
In every interaction, Paul longs to declare the mystery of Christ in a way that makes it clear. Some people may have been taught a wrong understanding of the Gospel.
Others may have no frame of reference at all and find it overwhelming.
Paul seeks wisdom to spread the word of God in a way that is relatable to each person he encounters.
So, as we pray for our missionaries, let’s ask God to create open doors for the exponentially effective move of the Gospel.
Let’s ask Him to give those on the front line precisely the right words
to make clear the heart of the Father.
In the last few verses of this passage, Paul moves instructs the Colossians
how they ought to share Jesus.
Because of course, evangelism is not just for missionaries.
Each and every one of us have been commissioned
to engage in everyday, ordinary ways of sharing
the most extraordinary story ever told.
“The time has come,” Paul seems to say, “to put all of your learning, all of your discipline, all of your growth, into action. Being transformed into the Father’s image means your heart also becomes more like His, broken for His lost children. Go now; it’s time to act.”
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders,
making the best use of the time.
Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. (Colossians 4:5-6)
Right off the bat, Paul encourages us with the simple command to engage those outside the family of believers. Time is short, and every interaction matters.
Therefore, Paul explains, wisdom is paramount.
Where is this person in the process of salvation?
What action on my part would be most beneficial
for this person
in this moment?
Perhaps my role is to sew a seed, leaving the harvest for another worker. (1 Corinthians 3:5-9) Or perhaps this is the moment of decision, and I ought to press on.
God’s timing is perfect, and my desire is to move in step with Him as He leads.
Furthermore, operating in the Father’s wisdom and listening the Spirit’s whisper allows our words to be seasoned in a way that makes the Gospel most powerful in each interaction. Because it isn’t about us, this is God’s Work!
A highly effective approach with one person might prove detrimental with another.
Before we’re overwhelmed by the weightiness of what lies ahead, remember we have God on our side. He created each soul; He is perfectly capable of leading us as His Spirit courts each one for the Kingdom.
When the world is at stake, the power of prayer is critical
along with a willing obedience to go.
Let us meet the Lord on our knees,
hear His whispers in our hearts,
and take Him with us to the streets.
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!