We probably all know someone who has no faith in Jesus but has some level of spiritual interest, despite all the barriers they may have to believing the gospel. I have some family members, friends and work colleagues who fall into this category. Also, when talking to the general public, I often find some level of supernatural or spiritual belief but lack of any religious faith. No wonder I was recently not surprised when reading a 2016 ‘yougov’ poll which reported that 46% of people surveyed, believed in God or a higher spiritual power. Many people are hungry for the supernatural, and in need of a powerful and loving God, but are unaware of His name.In his day, Paul hungered for such people and others defiant to Christ, to come to saving faith in Jesus. We find his instructions in this last chapter of Colossians, highlighting his hunger for God to make a way for him to be used to share the gospel, that many may come to faith. The key to this, as highlighted by Paul, is prayer. We see through Paul’s instructions, what we are to pray for and how we are to pray.
What are we to pray for? (v.3-4)
- “That God may open us a door for the word” – this “door” refers to the receptiveness of unbelievers to the gospel (see Acts 14:27).
- “To declare the mystery of Christ…that I may make it clear” – boldness and clarity in preaching the gospel.
We are to pray for ministry leaders, but also for the rest of the church and ourselves, to have doors of people’s hearts opened towards the gospel and for us to boldly and clearly preach the gospel that it may enter these opened doorways and bring about new life.
How are we to pray? (v.2)
- “Continue steadfastly in prayer” – or in other words be persistent and devoted to praying.
- “Being watchful in it” – this implies being vigilant in recognising when there is need to pray and not missing out on doing so.
- “With thanksgiving” – we are to be thankful for our own salvation but also giving thanks in advance for God hearing and answering our prayers.
We can rest in confidence that as we’re persistent in getting down on our knees, God is faithful to bend the knees of those we pray for, that they may experience and delight in the grace of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
The power of the gospel is such that it takes us into greater and greater experience of the nature of God. We play our part by drawing near to God, so that we can experience his life in us in greater measures. As instructed by Paul, we are to make the best use of time by walking and talking in the wisdom and graciousness of God, that unbelievers may come to experience the grace and salvation of Jesus.
Today hold onto the reality that faithfully persisting in prayer shall transform your life and the lives of others you pray for.