kingdom authority

  Paul understood that the ministry is a supernatural work, it requires divine involvement. Ministry is not something that can effectively be done by mere human initiative or strength.
(John Lathrop)

In the last chapter of his letter to the Colossian church the apostle Paul mentions prayer a number of times. He first instructs the recipients of the letter to devote themselves to prayer (Col. 4:2). This was the practice of another church in the New Testament as well, the first church, the church in Jerusalem (see Acts 2:42).

Paul’s initial directive to the Christians in Colosse is very general, he does not tell them specifically what to pray for. However, he does tell them two characteristics that should mark their prayers; their prayers were to be marked by watchfulness and thankfulness.

After this first statement about prayer, Paul goes on to ask the church to pray for some personal prayer requests, specifically he asks for prayer for his ministry. He requests that the whole congregation pray for his ministry, he did not just seek to enlist the prayer warriors in the church.

Paul was not under the illusion that he could carry on profitable ministry by himself. He understood the importance of the Holy Spirit but as our text makes clear he also understood the importance of having fellow believers stand with him in prayer. In this letter he requests their support.

His first personal prayer request was that the Lord would open a door for the message of the gospel. Paul understood that the ministry is a supernatural work, it requires divine involvement. Ministry is not something that can effectively be done by mere human initiative or strength.

Both the message and the mission come from God. Paul may have asked the Colossian Christians to pray for an open door because at one point in his ministry he encountered some closed doors. In Acts 16 we read about how God prevented Paul and his companions from going into Asia and Bithynia (Acts 16:6-7).

The text in Acts does not tell us why the Lord kept them from entering these areas. The team was later divinely directed through Paul’s vision in the night to go to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10). Sometimes we as believers would like opportunities to share the gospel; we would like “open doors.”

Employing Paul’s strategy in this passage may prove very helpful. Ask other believers to pray that the Lord would open just the right doors for you.

Paul’s first personal prayer request in Colossians 4 was for the mission. His second personal request was for the minister: himself. After requesting prayer that the Lord would provide an open door for the gospel Paul goes on to request prayer that he would be able to proclaim the gospel clearly as he should. There is a lesson for us here. By this time in his life the apostle Paul was a seasoned minister.

He had served the Lord for a number of years in preaching, teaching, and planting churches. However, even though this was so, he did not presume that he “knew how to do ministry.” He did not become prideful; he remained dependent on the Lord.

We need to remember, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (Jas. 4:6). Are you looking for an “open door?” Do you want to be effective when it opens? Ask for the prayers of others. Paul did!

 

Profile photo of John P. Lathrop - United States
John P. Lathrop - United States

John P. Lathrop is a graduate of Western Connecticut State University, Zion Bible Institute, and Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary’s Center for Urban Ministerial Education (CUME). He is an ordained minister with the International Fellowship of Christian Assemblies and has twenty years of pastoral experience.

 

 

Comments

http://i1.wp.com/beritamujizat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/kingdom-authority.jpg?fit=700%2C454http://i1.wp.com/beritamujizat.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/kingdom-authority.jpg?resize=700%2C454John P. Lathrop - United StatesKolomTeologiOpen Door,Prayer  Paul understood that the ministry is a supernatural work, it requires divine involvement. Ministry is not something that can effectively be done by mere human initiative or strength. (John Lathrop) In the last chapter of his letter to the Colossian church the apostle Paul mentions prayer a number of times....Tuliskan Kebenaran, Hasilkan Perubahan