Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Colossians 4:2-6
It’s back again. The anniversary of 9/11. The anniversary of terror on American soil–it’s fresh in our minds this morning. Over 3,000 lives lost. Untold others destroyed. Children robbed of their parents by an enemy they could not understand. We could not understand. Why would people want to do this sort of thing to other people? It seems inconceivable to the peace makers of the world, and yet we know that evil resides in the hearts of men. We see it in America, too. It happens in America, too. Evil is born and raised, and educated and promoted in America, too. Knowing this is what scares some of us–makes it hard for us to sleep at night. We see the injustice that is done on American soil; the inhumanity, the ignorance, and we flinch. We, as Christians, know that when men act according to the dictates of their hearts instead of God’s Word, bad things happen. We see. We hear. We know.
So what’s the answer to our sin problem? Prayer!
“Devote yourselves to prayer,” this passage says. Be watchful. Be thankful. The insinuation is that we should fill our lives with a realization of God and dedicate ourselves to the communications that are necessary to hear from Him, understand Him, receive guidance from Him and walk in His ways.
Among us are many who have decided to follow Jesus. They have forfeited the fame of this world in order to dedicate themselves to pursing God, first and foremost. They have forsaken better jobs, nicer digs, more luxurious vacations and greater worldly pursuits to follow God, be available to God, march to the beat of a different drummer. They have followed Jesus, in prayer, in service, in obedience, in holiness. Some of them are among us now. Hallelujah. These are the true heroes!
Today, I want to encourage you to pray for the workers in God’s harvest field. Pray that God may open a door for their message. Pray that they may clearly and confidently proclaim the mystery of Christ to those who either do not know Him, or have yet to follow His will.
Pray for the chained ones, those who need Jesus so much, but don’t realize it. And pray for those sent to them, as witnesses of His great glory. Pray that our Pastors, Teachers, Missionaries, Preachers, and Active Servants may proclaim the gospel message wherever they go. Pray they proclaim it clearly, as they should and have desired to do when they’ve left their homes and families this morning.
With regards to all of us–all those who take the name of Christ–pray that we would be wise in the ways we act toward outsiders; making the most of every opportunity. Some of us are ministering to the brokenhearted this morning. Others are dealing with in-your-face rebellion. Some have students under their tutelage that are lost, confused, abandoned, betrayed, angry or bullied. Pray that in each situation we confront our conversations might be full of grace and seasoned with salt, so that we might know how to answer the need each one has expressed through word or deed.
Being on the front lines, witnessing for the Lord, is risky business. It’s also rewarding work. Pray for those who have made it their job–for those who have accepted the call, whether credentialed or not, for surely if you are called by God, you are as credentialed as you will ever need to be. Pray for the Church this morning and for those they work to serve.
Pray, Pray, PRAY!