Posted by: Pastor J Jacobs on Tue, Jun 14, 2016
THINGS CHRISTIANS SHOULD PRAY FOR!
1. Open your Bible please to Colossians 1:9-10.
2. In Colossians 1:9-11 Paul prays for those of the church at Colossae. In this lesson we are going to limit our study to just verses 9&10. We will study verse eleven in another study.
3. We will study this prayer for at least two reasons.
1) One reason will be to apply it to our own lives. If those of the church at Colossae needed these things then each and every Christian would need these things. Do you agree?
2) Another reason for studying these things is so that we will better understand what we should pray for when we pray. Again, do you agree?
4. Let’s begin to discuss the things that Paul prayed for.
I. FIRST, COLOSSIANS 1:9a TEACHES THAT CHRISTIANS NEED TO PRAY FOR OTHERS AND NOT JUST PRAY FOR THEMSELVES.
1. Colossians 1:9a says, “For this reason we also, since the day we heard it ["it" referring to what Paul had heard about those of Colossae in verse four when Paul speaks of their faith in Christ and their love for all other Christians], do not cease to pray for you, and to ask.”
2. Since Paul had heard about the faith and love of the church at Colossae he and others with him had regularly prayed and asked for God to help them grow in maters that would help them spiritually.
3. Paul was in prison and had his difficulties but he still shows unselfishness and prays for others. Paul leaves a great example for all Christians. When we focus on the needs of others we will make our burdens lighter.
II. SECOND, COLOSSIANS 1:9b TEACHES CHRISTIANS THAT THEY SHOULD PRAY THAT THEY WILL “BE FILLED WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF GOD’S WILL!”
1. Colossians 1:9b says, “pray for you, and ask that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will.”
2. This aspect of prayer is not trying so much to make God listen to us as it is offering a prayer pleading with God to make ourselves listen to God and His written word as He speaks to us when we read it.
3. We need to not try so hard to persuade God to do what we want, but instead ask God to persuade us to study and learn what God wants us to know and do.
4. It so often happens that in prayer we are really saying: ‘Your will be changed’ when we ought to be saying: ‘Your will be done.’
5. The first objective of prayer is not so much to speak to God as to listen to him.
6. Turn to 1 John 5:14. 1 John 5:14, like Colossians 1:9b, emphasizes that Christians should pray and live in harmony with God’s will: 1 John 5:14 says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.”
7. These verses teach Christians that a successful prayer life, for one thing, comes for those who are faithful students of the bible.
III. THIRD, COLOSSIANS 1:9c TEACHES CHRISTIANS THAT THEY SHOULD PRAY FOR “WISDOM!”
1. “Wisdom” is the right application of knowledge. The knowledge that one gains from God’s word through daily bible study must be translated into our everyday life and put to proper use or the knowledge want do our soul any good. Simply stated: wisdom in going to the right source for knowledge, which would be going to God, and then making the right application of that knowledge that comes from God.
2. I think all of us know people that know a lot of bible and yet they don’t attend services faithfully. Those that are guilty of spasmodic attendance aren’t demonstrating wisdom, such as Paul is praying about.
3. Again, I think all of us know people that attend services faithfully and have knowledge that there is much more that they should be doing but they don’t do much. Those that are guilty of doing very little for the Lord are not demonstrating wisdom, such as Paul is praying about.
4. In both of the examples, such negligence is not displaying wisdom, but rather one is guilty of committing sin. James 4:17 says, “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
5. Titus 3:14 says, “And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.”
IV. FOURTH, COLOSSIANS 1:9d TEACHES THAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD PRAY THAT THEY HAVE “SPIRITUAL UNDERSTANDING!”
1. Turn to Matthew 6:19-21. In Matthew 6:19-21 we can observe one example of “spiritual understanding”. “Spiritual understanding” shows itself when a person gains the knowledge of God will and then through wisdom lays up treasures in heaven instead of laying up material things on earth. Matthew 6:19-21 says, “19 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
2. Turn to Hebrews 5:12-14. For a second example: “spiritual understanding” shows itself when a person studies the bible thorough enough that they are capable of teaching it correctly to others. Hebrews 5:12-14 says, “12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. 13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. 14 But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”
3. In summary: “spiritual understanding” shows itself when a person is faithful in the areas that we have just mentioned and also in all of what the New Testament teaches that we are to be faithful in.
V. FIFTH, COLOSSIANS 1:10a TEACHES THAT CHRISTIANS SHOULD PRAY THAT THEY WILL “WALK WORTHY OF THE LORD.”
1. Colossians 1:10a says, “that you may walk worthy of the Lord.”
2. This does not mean that a Christian will ever be able to walk faithful and sinless and become worthy enough so that the Lord is in debt to them.
3. To “walk worthy of the Lord” simply refers to living a faithful Christian life and being as obedient as one possibly can from a human standpoint.
4. Turn to Matthew 10:37&38. In Matthew 10:37&38 Jesus teaches that to walk worthy we must not allow the religion of our parents or our children to have more influence on us that Christ’s teaching. Jesus also teaches that the Christian who will not bear their own cross or their own Christian responsibilities is not worthy of him. Matthew 10:37&-38 says, ” 37 He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.”
5. Turn to Genesis 17:1. In Genesis 17:1 God challenged Abram during his old age to walk worthy or blameless before God. At whatever age we are the challenge to walk worthy is our responsibility before God. Genesis 17:1 says, “When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless.”
6. Christians should “walk worthy of the Lord” and seek to bring honor and praise to the Lord.
7. Christians should also pray that their self and others will walk worthy of the Lord.
VI. SIXTH, COLOSSIANS 1:10b TEACHES CHRISTIANS THAT THEY SHOULD PRAY THAT THEIR WORTHY WALK WILL “FULLY PLEASE GOD.”
1. Turn to Hebrews 10:24-27. Hebrews 10:24-27 teaches that Christians should not be guilty of doing as little as they can. They should not attend just one service a week when they know the Lord would prefer that they attend a minimum of four services a week. Hebrews 10:24-27 says, “24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, 25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching. 26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries.”
2. Turn to 2 Corinthians 9:6&7. 2 Corinthians teaches that Christians should not be guilty of giving grudgingly or out of necessity when they know that the Lord commands us to give liberally and cheerfully. 2 Corinthians 9:6&7 says, “6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”
3. Christians need to pray for themselves and others that they will fully please the Lord in every command that we are given in the New Testament. In Matthew 28:20a Jesus says, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
VII. SEVENTH, COLOSSIANS 1:10c TEACHES CHRISTIANS THAT THEY SHOULD PRAY THAT THEY WILL “BE FRUITFUL IN EVERY GOOD WORK.”
1. Turn to John 15:5&8. In John 15:5&8 Jesus teaches that He is the vine and that each Christian is a branch. Jesus teaches that Christians are to bear much fruit, otherwise a Christian is not His disciple.
1) John 15:5&8 says, “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.”
2) The primary fruit of a Christian is another Christian. Christians need to stay busy trying to work with and teach and convert others to become New Testament Christians.
2. Turn to Galatians 5:22-24. In Galatians 5:22-24 Christians are commanded to bear the fruit of the Spirit.
1) The fruit of the Spirit is that fruit that relates to a Christian’s attitude and personality and the loving and kind way that they are to treat other people. While one is bearing the fruit of the Spirit they will also suppress ungodly and immoral living and create a righteous and morally pure life.
2) Galatians 5:22-24 says, “22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 24 And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.”
3. Visualize Christians of a local congregation as being illustrated by a peach orchard or pecan orchard and each one of having the responsibility to bear good fruit and each Christian being responsibility to bear much fruit.
1) Do we need to be praying that we become more fruitful?
2) Do we need to be praying for other Christians to be more fruitful?
VIII.EIGHTH, COLOSIANS 1:10d TEACHES CHRISTIANS THAT THEY MUST PRAY THAT “THEY CONTINUALLY INCREASE IN THEIR KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!”
1. The prayer that Paul is speaking of pertaining to “increasing in the knowledge of God” is different than what Paul was praying about in the middle of verse nine when he prayed for Christians to “be filled with the knowledge of God’s will”.
2. “To be filled with the knowledge of God’s will” means first and foremost to learn as much as possible of God’s word from an intellectual standpoint. We need to read and memorize and meditate upon God’s word.
3. As a contrast, to pray for us “to increase in the knowledge of God” means for us to be more and more obedient to God.
1) Turn to 1 John 2:3-6. 1 John 2:3-6 teaches that as one obeys God, he comes to know God better. The only way to really know God is to obey His will.
2) 1 John 2:3-6 says, “3 Now by this we know that we know Him, if we keep His commandments. 4 He who says, “I know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5 But whoever keeps His word, truly the love of God is perfected in him. By this we know that we are in Him. 6 He who says he abides in Him ought himself also to walk just as He walked.”
4. Most all Christians need to pray that they will do more of what they know to do. James 4:17 teaches Christians to not be guilty of the sin of negligence: “Therefore, to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.”
1. Turn to 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 teaches that those who don’t know God are in the same category as those who don’t obey the gospel and thus will be lost. 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9 says, “7 and to give you who are troubled rest with us when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with His mighty angels, 8 in flaming fire taking vengeance on those who do not know God, and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 These shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of His power.”
2. Our prayer is for anyone present that hasn’t obeyed the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ to do so this very morning!
3. If you need to make sure you are prepared for the second coming of Jesus please come to the front as we stand and sing.
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