I was able to speak one last time to the camp workers for the final session. In my opinion it went horrible, it wasn't interesting and didn't flow very good. However I was told by one Supervisor that, what I said was what him and his worker needed to hear. Below is my message outline.
- End of Book, 4:7-18 is Paul’s Final Greetings, 4:2-6 Final Instructions
Read Colossians 4:2-6
- 2-4 Paul talks mostly about prayer:
- Most Common Sin.
- The Bible doesn’t suggest that we pray, it commands us to be praying.
“Men ought always to pray and not to faint.”
“Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit”
Thess. 5 - “Pray without ceasing.”
- Prayer is the Christian’s vital breath.
- You won’t have a healthy growing relationship with God without it.
- Can’t have Strong Relationship with Wife
- So why do we treat our relationship to God that way?
- Then wonder why we don’t feel close to God?
- Prayer is a communion with God
- Why don’t we pray to God?
- Lack of effectiveness
- God knows everything anyway
- I don’t feel anything
- God doesn’t care about me as much as someone else
- It just doesn’t work!
- Because of sin in my life; I feel uncomfortable or ashamed when talking to God.
- It isn’t a priority
- I don’t really know how
Video http://www.godtube.com/featured/video/coffee-jesus (5:30)
- Thankfully - We have a wonderful example of Jesus Christ showing us how he prayed.
- Jesus who is God still prayed.
- He is the most connected with God and still found it necessary for prayer.
- He time after time, left the company of his disciples to go out alone,
- to pray in a desert place,
- on a mountain side,
- or in the garden, that he may spend fellowship with the Lord.
“20 And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over.
21 And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
22 Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds.
23 And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone,”
- There are many wrong views on prayer out there.:
- Some people say that prayer doesn’t really do anything, it is really for your own purpose, kind of like a mind game to make you feel better about something.
- Lots of times when people are making decisions, (college or dating a girl)
- “Well I prayed about it, and I “feel” God is speaking to me - ok with us dating
- (Wait isn’t she not a Christian?)
- So…your prayer (feelings) is trumping what the Word of God says?
- Is God re-writing scripture through your prayer life to fit your agenda?
- When you feel “good” about something, or don’t “feel” guilty about it, it doesn’t mean God is speaking to you, giving you peace, telling you something is ok, when it contradicts scripture.
A. Paul’s Prayer Tip (10:30)
Read Colossians 4:2
- Devote – to give all or a large part of one’s time or resources, to persist, and continue in.
- If we are devoted to prayer, we will be spending large amounts of time praying to God.
- Jesus is in the Garden praying; his disciples fall asleep, after an hour of prayer.
- Praying for an hour might seem crazy to some of you.
- However the more you are in fellowship with God, the closer you are to him, the more time you will feel like you need to talk to him.
- Doesn’t mean specific place or time period
- Jesus spent lots of time in prayer.
“35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
- Prayer is the way we communicate with God.
- Jesus took time to get up early in the morning, he could be alone, to take time to pray.
- God speaks to us through the Bible; we speak to God through prayer.
6 iBe anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with jthanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and kthe peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
- Prayer is essential for our growth as a believer; it is vital to our spiritual health as is breathing to our physical bodies.
- The peace of God that we cannot understand will guard our hearts and minds, through Christ from our prayers.
- Colossians 4:2 goes on to say - “being watchful and thankful”
- You need to be watchful or alert, aware – against spiritual drowsiness caused by attention to the world.
1 Thess. 5:6
“So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled. For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. But since we belong to the day, let us be self-controlled, putting on faith and love as a breastplate, and the hope of salvation as a helmet.”
- Have you fallen asleep to resisting temptation?
- Are you alert of what the scripture says, and how you’re living your life according to his Word?
- Do you have self-control or do you let your earthly desires control you?
o Like greed, stealing, and lust
- When you are tempted, do you let your eyes wondering where you desire, or are you self-controlled?
- We need to be careful to walk before the Lord.
- It is so easy to slip into a careless condition becoming entangled into worldly snares, causing us to have poor spiritual discernment, causing our prayers to become selfish.
- Where there is watchfulness, having honesty, after coming before the Lord in confession, we can pray in full confidence, knowing that all hindrances are removed.
- Verse then says - “Being thankful” should always accompany our prayers.
- It places us in a proper attitude before God.
- In our thankfulness we are raising our praises to God for what he has done, in the past, present, and even future.
o Thankful for Future? – Kingdom.
1 Thes. 5:16-18
“Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
- It is Gods will for us to be Joyful; always praying and giving thanks.
- When we aren’t thankful to the Lord, we become foolish, we loose self-control, and become careless to the Word of God.
“For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”
- The men in this passage knew God.
- But what was the problem “They neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him”
- They then became futile, and their hearts were darkened.
- The writer Luke, calls their hearts foolish, he then tells us that they exchanged the “glory of the immortal God for worthless idols.”
- If you aren’t thankful towards God you are headed down a steep slope to destruction.
- You will begin to replace the “Immortal God” with idols.
- You will become careless towards sin and towards God’s glory, to have what you want.
B. Paul’s Prayer Request (18:00)
-Paul goes on to say in Colossians 4:3-4
- Paul asks for them to pray for him. But listen to how unselfish his request is.
- Read Colossians 4:3
2 Thes. 3:1
“Finally, brothers, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honored, just as it was with you.”
- Paul’s main focus is on the spread of the Gospel, not himself.
- We so often come to God as sort of a magic gene to grant our wishes.
- God becomes more of a place to go to get what we want, that fits our agenda.
- Then feel unsatisfied with our prayers because:
o God doesn’t grant our selfish desires, because of our wrong motives.
- In Paul’s prayer request, he asks for an open door, and to speak the gospel clearly.
- He mentions that he is in chains for speaking the Truth.
- His mindset here is very odd to us.
- He doesn’t even ask for them to pray for him to be freed from prison, or anything like that, but request that they pray for the gospel to be spread.
- “pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”
- “As I should” - “As I am obligated to.”
- Paul is in chains because he is serving God, by spreading the Gospel “as he should.”
- What he means here, as I should be clear, or I should be bold
- Reviewed 4 main things Paul teaches us on Prayer in the past 3 verses:
o We need to be Devoted to Prayer
o Be watchful and thankful
o Ask God for open doors/opportunities to preach the message
o And pray that the Gospel is proclaimed clearly
C. Walk In Wisdom (24:45)
-Read Colossians 4:5-6
- Wisdom in Greek is “Sophia”, which is God’s wisdom not man’s, which should be evident to those outside the faith.
- We are to act in such a way that unbeliever’s notice that we are walking in the wisdom of the Lord, not earthly wisdom.
- Paul also says, “make the most of every opportunity.
- Literally meaning “buy up the time”
- We should always be ready, buying up the time wisely to use every opportunity to share Christ with who comes our way.
- Our conversation should “always be full of grace” and yet “seasoned with salt” (pure and penetrating)
- In this way we can answer everyone who asks us “the reason for the hope”
- We need to always be ready, taking up every opportunity to share the faith.
- By praying we can better prepare ourselves and also have our focus on, and our passion geared towards sharing the gospel with others.
- Our prayer life is vital to our spiritual growth.
- I think by the way we pray shows, how important we think God is, it shows how much we really think we need God.
- Lots of times we don’t pray because we don’t think we need God’s help or involvement.
- When we pray we show more of a dependency on God, causing us to have a stronger faith in him.