Prayer Chain V

“Prayer is not, as some seem to suggest, an opportunity to manipulate God into doing what you want Him to. Prayer is, instead, our way of seeking fellowship with God, learning about Him, and attempting to perceive His perspective on the many issues around us that cause us puzzlement, wonder, or distress.”God is my hero Dr. Francis S. Collins

ALMIGHTY God, Father of all mercies, we, thine unworthy servants, do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us, and to all mankind; particularly to [insert organization] leadership team, staff, and volunteers.  We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honor and glory, world without end. Amen.[1]

Lord our God grant us favor this week as we continue to fulfill your will to love our neighbors. Give us discernment and patience to make the right choices at the right moments. Guide us through the tough decisions and grant us mercy when we fail. We pray that you shine peace upon us when the trials of life batter our hearts and provide us with the true hope that the boons of your great love will never feign. We pray this all in the name of your Son, Jesus Christ, who reigns with you and in you, now and forever. Amen.

Weekly Scripture

“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.  At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison—  that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak” (Colossians 4:2-4 ESV).

Commentary:

4:2. Paul not only practiced a mature prayer life (cf. 1:3–12) but he also prescribed it for all believers. They should devote themselves to (lit., “persist, continue in”; cf. Rom. 12:12) prayer. Prayer is not a spiritual luxury; it is essential for growth. Prayer—as vital to one’s spiritual health as breathing is to one’s physical health—should be continual (1 Thes. 5:17), not casual. In his praying, a Christian should be watchful (“alert, aware”) against spiritual drowsiness caused by attention to the world (Matt. 24:42; Acts 20:31; 1 Cor. 16:13; 1 Thes. 5:6) and/or by the wiles of the devil (Eph. 6:16; 1 Peter 5:8). Being thankful should always accompany prayer (Phil. 4:6; Col. 1:12; 3:16–17; 1 Thes. 5:18), for it places a believer in the proper attitude before God (cf. Rom. 1:21).

4:3–4. Pray for us was a request Paul often made of his readers (Rom. 15:30; Eph. 6:19; 1 Thes. 5:25; 2 Thes. 3:1). His request was not selfish; it was for an open … door (cf. 1 Cor. 16:9; 2 Cor. 2:12) through which he could clearly minister the gospel message … the mystery of Christ (cf. Eph. 3:4; 6:19; Col. 1:26–27; 2:2), for which he was in chains (cf. Phil. 1:7, 13–14, 16; Col. 4:18; Phile. 1, 9–10, 13). He desired not only an opportunity to preach but also clarity in preaching: that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should (i.e., “as I am obligated to”; cf. Rom. 1:14–15).[2]

Footnotes:

[1] The Protestant Episcopal Church in the United States of America, The Book of Common Prayer and Administration of the Sacraments and Other Rites and Ceremonies of the Church (New York: The Seabury Press, 1976), 33.

[2] Norman L. Geisler, “Colossians,” in The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures, ed. J. F. Walvoord and R. B. Zuck, vol. 2 (Wheaton, IL: Victor Books, 1985), 684.

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