Devote Yourself To Prayer: Colossians 4:2-4
“2) Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; 3) praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; 4) in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.” ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭4:2-4‬
Prayer changes things. It invites God to be the center and not the fringe. God centered activity is very different from self-centered activity. The word “devote” simply means that you faithfully cling to God in everything. Prayerless activity is Godless activity no matter what the activity entails. I maintain that all things go better when God is consciously invited to be at the center of it!
Maintaining an attitude of thanksgiving is important because it averts the “self pity party.” It ensures that God and others are considered in the matter. It forces us to see life through a different set of lenses.
The most important part of praying is asking God to open doors for the gospel. Keep in mind, Satan actively works to hinder the gospel. (See 2 Corinthians 4:3-4) This is true in Christian living, personal evangelism and formal ministry. Satan will do anything to hinder and marginalize the gospel. Every Christian should be motivated to advance the gospel.
Prayerless ministry is powerless ministry. Prayerless living is Godless living. Prayer is not about prayer… it is about God. Prayer was the fuel that powered ministry in the early church. Read Acts 4:29-31 and Acts 6:4. Intercessory prayer is directly connected to unction and anointing in ministry.
God honors prayer to open closed doors, change the spiritual climate over entire regions and soften people to the gospel. Coming boldly before the throne of grace invites the power and presence of God to undergird our lives and ministry. This kind of praying moves us to the center of Gods agenda rather than merely asking Him to bless our agenda.
The difference between Spirit anointed ministry and carnal ministry is profound. Spirit anointed ministry overflows with the presence and power of God in such a way that a sense of awe falls or comes over the people. (See Acts 2:43) Many begin to respond to the gospel and God shows up in miraculous ways. God and not man is in the drivers seat of this kind of ministry.
By contrast, carnal ministry is filled with self, stress, conflict, strife, grumbling, complaining, contention and personal agendas. The Spirit of God is grieved and marginalized. The emphasis is on “our plans and programs” and not the mind of Christ. Little of heavenly significance happens in these churches. I am at the place of loathing carnal ministry. It is an utter disservice to Christ and the gospel.
So how can you discern the difference between anointed and carnal ministry? Look at the emphasis on prayer, praise and worship in the life of the church or ministry. If prayer and worship is mechanical, approached with mere lip service and the Holy Spirit is marginalized… it is a sure sign it is a carnal ministry. But when Jesus Christ is exalted and sought with a sense of priority and urgency and the Holy Spirit is in the drivers seat, be ready for the overflow of heaven to baptize both the people and the ministry. The difference is profound!
Daily Bible Commentary By Terry Baxter: Cofounder of GoServ Global