“Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.” – Colossians 4:2
Here’s the backdrop to the great commission and the reason why we are commanded to pray: God is sovereign in salvation. It’s the Spirit who opens the heart. It’s the Spirit who convicts of sin and convinces of our need of Christ. But God uses human instruments to accomplish His purpose. He uses people, relationships, words spoken, and prayers prayed.
The way that we will press into gospel opportunities is by first off being impacted by the gospel ourselves. It’s when we wake up every morning and we praise God that our righteousness is not dependent upon ourselves, but Christ; it’s then that our eyes are fixed where they should be and are hearts are prepared and readied to speak the gospel.
In a recent Sunday sermon, we heard a chilling story of a pastor in a majority Muslim country. A place where the stakes are very high to speak the gospel. The stakes are so high, and their hearts are so burdened by the lostness around them that they pray for up to four hours a day for evangelistic encounters, boldness, and God’s protection. This pastor and his wife were given the chance to leave their country of origin and come to the United States. After living in our land, amongst our churches, his wife pleaded with him to return to the land where they where not free. She said, “it’s like there’s a satanic lullaby playing here, and the Christians are asleep. And I feel like I’m falling asleep! Please let’s go back!” (and they did).
Think about that. Who is in the real danger? Maybe it’s us: sleepy and apathetic. If all your prayers were answered tomorrow, what would be different? Who would be saved? Who would be encouraged and built up in the church?
Church, this command is for us. Let’s be devoted to prayer – staying alert (knowing who to pray for and keeping at it); and let’s give thanks. Let’s give thanks when the gospel is shared. Let’s give thanks when, by God’s grace, there’s a response. Let’s give thanks for the fruit that we’ve been able to see even so far.
We encourage you to make it a priority to come back on Sunday evenings. We’re going to keep praying for gospel opportunities and gospel fruit! There is power when the church gathers to pray. In your discipling relationships, ask one another who you can be praying for. And then keep praying and encourage one another to look for opportunities to speak.
Pray continually. May the Lord answer our prayers and bless our obedience.