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  Bro. Tom’s Weekly Bible Study
  Week #15
Posted: January 8,2008


We turn out attention this week to the 4th Chapter of Colossians and verses 1-6 which says, “Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a Master in heaven.  Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak. Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time. Let your speech be always with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man.”  I have entitled this section of the Christian life “The Prayer Life”.  In verse 1 there is an overflow of the context of Chapter 3.  It is here he deals with the employer’s treatment of his employees. He reminds them not to forget that they have a “…Master in heaven.”  I wonder why Paul let this be so close to the context of verses 2-6 on prayer.  There are two things that help me with this context.  One is the reminder that there was no division of verses or chapters in the original.  It was just one continual flowing letter.  The other thing that helped me was this quote from John Phillips.  “If the wife is to submit to her husband, if the husband is to love his wife as Christ did the church, if the young people are to obey their parents, if parents are to keep from discouraging their children, if men are to serve well their employers, then all must pray.”  This is the reason for the close context of verse 1 with verses 2-6.

            Let me draw our study time to three thoughts I have learned about Paul’s praying in prison.  First there is ‘The Continual Alertness In Prayer’.  Paul tells the church to ‘continue’ in prayer.  The word means to persevere, to be consistent and unfailing. Jacob told the angel, ‘I will not let you go until you bless me’.  James said, “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.”  Paul admonished the church to ‘watch’ with thanksgiving.  The word means a patient alertness.  I am reminded of Elijah’s servant at Mt. Carmel whom he sent to see if there was any sign of rain. He went back and forth seven times looking for rain while Elijah prayed.  The servant was not much of a patient watcher expressed in the seven times back and forth.  It seems later that Elijah would set this servant aside for Elisha, one who was a true patient watcher before God.

            In verses 3 and 4 we are confronted with ‘The Cause Awakened By Prayer’.  In these verses Paul requested that prayer be made for him.  The cause is that a door may be opened that he may speak the mystery of Christ to others.  The great cause here is the affect we have on those who are without.  Paul tells us this is the reason why he is in bonds.  Paul knows that in order for one to be saved Christ must be revealed to them by the supernatural work of the Holy Ghost.  He tells us that God uses the utterance of our speech to make Christ known to others.  May we be constantly praying and looking for doors to be opened to share our faith with others.  Paul used every opportunity to share his faith.  Many of the guards that were chained to him were brought to the knowledge of the truth through the one on one sharing of the gospel.

            In verse 6 we find ‘The Conversation Affected Through Prayer’.  Paul tells us to use great wisdom in our walk “…toward them that are without”.  We are told in our walk, which is the word used in the Bible for conversation, to ‘redeem’ the time. We are each given 1,420 minutes each day.  We will never get them back neither can we bank them.  How are we using them in affecting those that are without?

            Paul tells us in verse 6 to pray about our talk.  Let our “…speech always be with grace,” Speech with grace is without being harsh with criticism or gossip. We must flavor our talk with the Word of God.  Salt often causes one to become thirsty.  When our speech is flavored with the Bible it will cause others to thirst for the water of life.  Let us pray that we may be careful how we answer others in spiritual matters.  Prayer is a must if we are to have holy families, blessed job sites, or touch the world around us with the gospel.