I. PRAYER AND SUPPLICATION.
A. Prayer has to do with communion with God.
1. It is not a monologue so much as a dialogue.
2. It covers a broad spectrum.
B. Supplication is more the petition aspect of prayer.
1. It is to ask for humbly.
2. It is not this demanding type of thing that we often hear about from some of the faith evangelists.
3. It is recognizing that I have no right to even stand before the Lord of the Universe, yet He has granted me the privilege to do so.
4. He owes me nothing, yet I owe Him everything. My very existence is dependent upon Him.
5. I come from a position of begging or imploring Him for my needs.
II. WATCHING THEREUNTO.
A. Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray lest they enter into temptation.
1. I believe that the meaning there was to being awake, not sleeping.
a. When He returned to them and found them asleep, He asked, "Could you not watch with Me one hour?"
b. Their sleeping was a sign that they were not watching.
2. I believe that when associated with prayer it also has a thought of expectancy.
a. I believe that when Elijah was praying for rain on Mt. Carmel and kept sending his servant to look for a cloud in the Western sky, that he was in a sense watching and praying.
b. He was waiting for and expecting an answer to his prayer.
III. The third word that Paul associates with prayer is perseverance.
A. That is pressing on until the answer comes.
B. Not giving up.
C. Dale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends" he speaks of a man by the name of Darby who was a successful insurance agent in the East who came out West to Colorado to make his fortune in gold.
IV. Who are we to pray for?
A. "All saints."
1. Abraham interceded for Lot and the city of Sodom.
2. Over and over we find Moses interceding for the people of Israel.
3. Daniel writes:
And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;
We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:
Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.
O Lord, righteousness [belongeth] unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, [that are] near, and [that are] far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.
O Lord, to us [belongeth] confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.
To the Lord our God [belong] mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;
Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.
Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that [is] written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.
And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.
As [it is] written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.
Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God [is] righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.
And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.
O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people [are become] a reproach to all [that are] about us.
Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.
O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.
O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.
V. "AND FOR ME."
A. Paul asked for prayer.
1. To the church in Rome Paul said,
Now I beseech you, brethren, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, and for the love of the Spirit, that ye strive together with me in [your] prayers to God for me;
2. To the Corinthians he wrote,
Ye also helping together by prayer for us, that for the gift [bestowed] upon us by the means of many persons thanks may be given by many on our behalf.
3. To the Colosians,
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:
4. To the Thessalonians,
Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have [free] course, and be glorified, even as [it is] with you:
VI. THE THINGS THAT PAUL WANTED THEM TO PRAY FOR.
A. That utterance might be given unto him.
1. The opportunities to share the word of God with others.
2. He asked the Colossians to pray that a door of utterance would be opened to him to share the mysteries of Christ.
3. He asked the Thessalonians that they would pray that the word of the Lord might have free course.
B. That he might open his mouth boldly.
1. After so much rejection there is a danger of not speaking out.
2. After you have been threatened and suffered so much because of your testimony, you might have a hesitancy to speak out.
a. In Acts 4
when the disciples had been threatened not to speak anymore in the name of Jesus, they gathered and prayed that the Lord would give them boldness to speak of Jesus.
b. The place was shaken and they spoke the word of God with boldness.
C. Paul was wanting to share the mystery of the gospel.
1. Not mystery as we think of Agatha Christi.
2. The new revelations of God through Jesus Christ, not before understood or known in the times of the Old Testament fathers.
3. In chapter 3 Paul defines mystery as something:
Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;
D. It was because of this mystery of the gospel that Paul was a prisoner.
1. He calls himself an ambassador in bonds.
2. In chapter 3 he makes mention of himself as a prisoner of Jesus Christ.