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Prayer Opens Doors For Truth

Colossians 4:3-4
And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (NIV)

The Apostle Paul was an expert evangelist. He had experience, commitment and perseverance. Through his ministry, many had started to follow Jesus Christ and churches had been planted. Despite imprisonment, he continued preaching and sent teaching letters to many places. So why did he ask the Colossian church to pray for him?
Did he have a problem? Were his chains the final discouragement? Was he losing his grip, or even his faith? No! But he was honest. However great his evangelistic 'successes' he knew he was incapable of achieving anything for God by himself. His ability came only from the Lord, not from inside himself. If the gospel was to lodge in people's hearts, he knew that God had to open their hearts and give the opportunity to speak. He knew that all his experience of preaching was not enough. Unless the Lord guided his heart and mind and tongue, the Word of God would seem like nonsense to his hearers. So he asked the church to pray for him. Paul believed that God hears every prayer and takes action. So even the newest believer could pray for the great Apostle, and God would use his words so that others would hear, believe, repent and receive Jesus.
Paradoxically, a strong ministry can disable God's servants, but weak people who trust Jesus will be used to build His kingdom. Although prayer may seem muscle-less, it is very powerful because God acts when His people cry out to Him. Sadly, some believers think of ministers as celebrities or super-saints. That is a worldly assessment based on their apparent 'success': it is wrong. No servant of God can minister effectively without others praying. They need prayer far more than money. So, instead of worshipping the 'successful' preachers and criticising the 'unsuccessful' - pray for them. If the Apostle Paul needed that, so do they. And what about you? Do you believe that the Lord will open doors for you to speak of Christ, and be clear about what you are saying, if someone prays for you? Interestingly the Bible speaks little about praying for the unbeliever, but much more about praying for the believer to have boldness, faith and wisdom in their witness. So who does the Lord want you to support in prayer? And who can you ask to support yourself? Think, pray, decide and do it ... for Jesus sake.

Loving, strong and ever-wise God. Thank You that You are building Your Kingdom by using weak people who are totally dependent on You. Forgive my foolish thinking when I praise some of Your ministers and criticise others - help me to pray for them. Help me also to have the humility to ask others to pray for me. May I never assume that my experience and talents can replace Your power and wisdom. Help me to develop an honest relationship with You and my fellow Christians; working for You and praying that You will do Your work through us. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams