Sermon: How Shall We Pray?

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How Shall We Pray? — A Prayer for the Future
Colossians 1:9-12
August 18, 2019

We have remembered our church’s past.  And we have remembered God’s faithfulness in our past.

We have given thanks to God for His care for us over the past 40 years.  Now what?  As we said last Sunday, by the grace of God, we do not believe we are finished with the task God has given us.  There is worship to be offered, evangelism to be practiced, discipleship to be done, physical help to be given, fellowship to be enjoyed, and Scripture to be taught.  We are a long way from finished.

So what is our task for the days ahead?  What should consume us?  What are our priorities?  And do our priorities change since we have passed some kind of milestone of ministry?

Last Sunday, Pastor Keith served us well by reminding us of the priority of prayer — that in days ahead we must be people of prayer who express our dependence on God and trust in God through prayer.  That perspective fits perfectly with what I had already planned to do for our worship today — to remind us of Paul’s prayer for the Colossians, which compels us to do two things:  his prayer reminds us of the priority of prayer and his prayer informs us how to pray for one another, and how to focus our lives in the days ahead.  His prayer teaches us what is essential for our lives and ministry for the days ahead.

In Paul’s prayer in Colossians 1 we discover that what we pray compels how we work in the church body —

We pray (and work) for a church that is pleasing to the Lord.

These verses instruct us not only how to pray, but also instruct us about the kind of life we are to pursue.  We will pray and work for six attributes that please the Lord:

  1. We Will Pray (and Work) for Spiritual Filling (v. 9)
  2. We Will Pray (and Work) for Worthy Lives (v. 10a)
  3. We Will Pray (and Work) for Spiritual Fruitfulness (v. 10b)
  4. We Will Pray (and Work) to Know God (v. 10c)
  5. We Will Pray (and Work) for Strength to Endure (v. 11)
  6. We Will Pray (and Work) for Hearts of Gratitude (v. 12)

Download the rest of this sermon on Colossians 1:9-12.

The audio will be posted on the GBC website by tomorrow.