Colossians #17 Colossians 4: 2-4
Colossians #17 Colossians 4: 2-4
Here are some thoughts to put into practice from Chapter 3:
1. Your life is to be full of loving actions. Deeds of love are characteristic of a disciple.
4. A new wardrobe is laid out for you, those new clothes consist of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. (Gal 5:22-23 (NLT).
6. Once you have bent your knee to God, there is work to be done.
11. Your new wardrobe is hand made by God so that you can thrive.
12. There will always be areas in your life that need to be changed.
13. The peace of Christ “empowers the desire to live in unity and harmony with all and especially with the citizens of the kingdom, your brothers and sisters in Christ.
16. The Kingdom has a revolutionary message “reciprocal obligation” and “mutual responsibility” especially within the family unit.
As we enter our examination of the 4th chapter in this letter we will be considering prayer as a reciprocal obligation, the need to stay alert, and the need to continually cultivate gratitude. It may interest you to know that in original language there was no chapters, no verses, no punctuation, these have all been added for our reference; just a trivial pursuit tidbit.
Colossians 4:2-4 (MSG)
Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. 3 Don't forget to pray for us, that God will open doors for telling the mystery of Christ, even while I'm locked up in this jail. 4 Pray that every time I open my mouth I'll be able to make Christ plain as day to them.
My understanding of prayer for my own wants seems to be constantly changing. My prayers that bring connection and communion have remained the same, but when it comes to asking God to do something for me, my expectation of a magic zap has changed. In my latest thoughts, and again this is from my experience, I think of prayer as preparatory. At one time I believed that pray was asking God to do what I wanted. Only in the beginning of my spiritual journey did those kinds of prayers find answers in the direction I desired; now, not so much. I currently see prayer as preparatory, a spiritual communication that empowers me to go to work, asking for God to provide everything I need to bring about what I am asking. Of course there are some things that I will not be able to do, what I am incapable of bringing about then prayer opens a door for God to directly intervene. So when I pray I am also going to involve myself in what I am requesting to happen.
Did you catch that Paul is in jail when he wrote this letter. He wrote: “I'm locked up in this jail.” Great circumstances. Yet Paul doesn’t ask they pray for his release, he asks that they pray for his effectiveness in carrying out his mission in the midst of dire circumstance. If you find yourself in dire circumstances pray that you can carry out your mission “in spite of.” Part of living your life to the full is the power to live “in spite of” (E Stanley Jones, Victorious Living, p.94). “This power to go on when life is dead set against us is the deepest necessity of our lives” (ibid.). With “in spite of power” we learn to mold the life around us instead of allowing circumstances to mold us (Jones, p.94). With “in spite of” power we keep on keeping on, we refuse defeat, we are proactive, and we fight the good fight.
Then return the favor, and intercede for them. That’s an example of mutual reciprocity and reciprocal responsibility.