Prayer: A Language Everyone Should Learn

 

“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”  Colossians 4:2

Prayer

It is a language known only by those who speak to the living God.

A Conversation

Prayer opens conversation between the created and his Creator.

An Avenue

It is the avenue through which petitions are made and answers received.

An Intercession

Prayers are also intercessory.  They stand between the guilt-ridden and the God who alone can forgive the guilty.

A Supplication

Prayers are supplications.  They recognize that God is the supplier of all our needs.

A Path to Healing

Prayer can bring healing. James 5:13 asks us, “Is any among you afflicted? Let him pray.”

Apostle Paul reminds us to “Pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Prayer

A Cry for Help

It is a mighty weapon that can bring God to our assistance when we are right with Him.

A Gift of Comfort

Prayer can give us comfort, strength, and direction for the days ahead.

Prayer also gives protection. “Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”  Matthew 26:41

A Pathway to Joy

Finally, prayer can bring joy. “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name:  ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.” John 16:24

If we can learn the language of prayer and communicate with our Heavenly Father, then as we abide in Him and His word, we can “ask what [we] will, and it shall be done unto [us].” John 15:7

©2017 Peggy Clark

For more research on Colossians, check out the commentary, So, What's the Latest News? Messages from a Prisoner in Rome by Peggy Clark.

 

A Great Example of the “Preacher”

The apostle Paul was and is a great example of the “preacher.”

Paul’s Focus

After hearing of the establishment of the church at Colosse, his response, as recorded in The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, was not to immediately begin making preparations for a series of sermons to be delivered, but rather his focus was on the spiritual needs of the body of Christ in order to further stabilize them and increase their knowledge and discernment of the things of God.

His first response was to get a “word” from God.

In Colossians 1, we see that the “word” he received began with a message of grace and peace. His response in seeking God continued as he did not cease to pray.

Paul’s Desire

Paul’s prayers revealed his desire for the Colossians — that they might be filled with the knowledge of [God’s] will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; and [t]hat [they] might walk worthy of the Lord.

Paul’s Duty

Paul obviously saw his main duty toward men as instructional.

He followed Christ’s example in that Christ set about training and developing disciples who would then take the gospel message to the world.

Paul was seeking to build saintly men who would further seek to train saintly men who would continue the pattern.

Paul’s Prayer

Paul’s letter to the Colossians is filled with instruction born not from Paul’s mind but from the mind of God. It was Paul’s prayer life that brought forth God’s Word that was revealed to the saints at Colosse.

The “preacher” is first and foremost to be a man of prayer.

His communication with God brings forth the “word” from God that is needful for his congregation, for it is God and God alone who knows what is in the heart of men, what message is needed to facilitate change desired by God, and Who is the only One that can give the wisdom and discernment needed to deliver that message.

When the “preacher” mounts the pulpit, his message conveys whether or not he has been in communication with God. In other words, a strong prayer life reveals the true “preacher.”

Paul’s example as a great man of prayer is the example of the “preacher” that is needful today.

Whereunto I also labour, striving according to his working, which worketh in me mightily. Colossians 1:29


An Exercise in Prayer

Formulate Your Own Prayer with Paul’s Example

 

In chapter one of The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Colossians, we see a godly example of prayer on the behalf of the body of Christ. This particular prayer grew out of a desire to see the Colossian brethren grow and mature in the faith.

As Paul and Timothy labored in prayer, their regard for the Colossians and their spiritual needs gave them purpose and direction.

Following the format of their prayer will aid us in praying for our beloved brethren.

  1. Give thanks to God.

Verse 3 begins with thankfulness to God for what He has already done in the lives of the believers.

2. Daily intercession and supplication is a must.

In verses 9-12, we learn that Paul and Timothy ceased not to pray.  They were committed to the task of prayer for the spiritual needs of others.

3.Pray specifically.

This was not a general prayer, but one with detailed petitions. We will discover what those petitions were as we do the exercise below.

4. Give thanks to God. In verse 12, these men began sharing their thankfulness to God and to their brethren for what God had and was presently doing in and through their lives.

 

1. What did Paul and Timothy desire for the Colossian brethren?

Paul and Timothy prayed and desired. Their desires became a list of specific requests.

List these requests given in verses 9-12 separately.

For example: a) that you might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding  b) that you might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing c) that you would be fruitful in every good work, etc.

 

2. Add your own requests to the list above.

You may sense other spiritual needs of the individual or group that you are praying for. Add these to your list.

 

3. Use your list to form the body of your prayer.

After listing the specific requests, use your list to create a prayer. You may be specific for individuals, a spouse, or for your church family as a whole.

For example:

Lord, help me to pray for my brother (or sister) in Christ.  I pray that he would be filled with the knowledge of Your will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding. Help him to walk worthy of You. May he be pleasing in Your sight. May he be fruitful in every good work that he tries to accomplish. Increase his knowledge of You. Strengthen him with all might according to Your glorious power unto patience and longsuffering. Give him a joyful attitude and countenance.

4. Give thanks. Use the rest of the chapter to help you with your list of thanks.

Paul and Timothy recorded a list of things for which they were thankful to God. That list begins in verse 12.

You may use the rest of the chapter to make your own list of things for which you are thankful.

 

5. Use your list of thanks to form the ending of your prayer.

Don’t forget to give God thanks for the work that He is doing in the lives of those for whom you are praying and for the work He is doing in your life also.

I hope this prayer exercise has helped you to formulate your own prayer. However, no prayer is answered until it is prayed. So keep your prayer handy and use it to help you as you grow in your prayer life.