Pray . . . that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ. Colossians 4:3
Brittany exclaimed to her coworker at the restaurant, “There’s that man! There’s that man!” She was referring to Melvin, who first encountered her under different circumstances. While he was tending to the lawn of his church, the Spirit prompted him to start a conversation with a woman who appeared to be a prostitute. Her reply when he invited her to church was: “Do you know what I do? They wouldn’t want me in there.” As Melvin told her about the love of Jesus and assured her of His power to change her life, tears streamed down her face. Now, some weeks later, Brittany was working in a new environment, living proof of the power of Jesus to change lives.
In the context of encouraging believers to be devoted to prayer, the apostle Paul made a twofold request: “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” (Colossians 4:3–4).
Have you prayed for opportunities to speak boldly and clearly for Jesus? What a fitting prayer! Such prayers can lead believers, like Melvin, to speak about Him in unexpected places and to unexpected people. Speaking up for Jesus can seem uncomfortable, but the rewards—changed lives—have a way of compensating for our discomforts.
When did you share the love of Jesus with someone even though it was unexpected and uncomfortable? What role does prayer play in our preparation to boldly speak up for Him?
Jesus, help me to see opportunities and step through the doors You open to speak boldly and clearly about You!
Read Pray First! The Power of Prayer in Sharing the Gospel at DiscoverySeries.org/Q0219.
The word translated “devote” in Colossians 4:2 is from the Greek word proskartereō, which has the root meaning “to be strong.” Devote yourselves to prayer means “to be strong toward, to persist in, to persevere, to endure.” The object of the verb here is prayer. Colossians 4:2 isn’t the only place in the New Testament where these two words appear together. In the book of Acts, before and after Pentecost, believers in Jesus are described as being constantly in prayer (1:14) and devoted to prayer (2:42). In 6:4, believers in Christ are urged to give attention to prayer, and in Romans 12:12 believers in Jesus are exhorted to be faithful in prayer. Believers in Jesus in Colossae had a good prayer example in their minister Epaphras: “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus . . . is always wrestling in prayer for you” (Colossians 4:12; see also 1:7).
To learn more about the practice of prayer, visit ChristianUniversity.org/SF120.