This is the audio and outline from the August 29, 2021 sermon, “Watch and PRAY”, shared by Tom Lemler at the Goshen Christian Church.
Text: Colossians 4:2-6
If you have any exposure to news sources of various kinds, it probably doesn’t take very long before you see and/or hear something that makes you heartbroken, frustrated, or angry. When we watch and pray instead of just watch, God has a way of turning our broken hearts, frustration, and anger into compassion, understanding, and love as we learn to respond as He would have us to. Today’s challenge for every one of us is to take a good look at our world, our country, our communities, our workplaces, and our homes and see how God would have us Watch and . . .
- Pause. Colossians 4:2, Proverbs 24:32
- Learning to pause can be a valuable tool to help us grow in a lifestyle of prayer. It is often the lack of a pause that gets us into trouble as our nature has a tendency to want to respond out of the emotions that are stirred up by what we see and hear. When we watch and pause, we take time to observe carefully and seek God’s perspective on what is really going on. Practicing the pause is done when we spend time with God in prayer and His Word so that we are the sheep who hear His voice and know His voice.
- Request. Colossians 4:3-4, Philippians 4:6
- By beginning with a pause that seeks God above all else, our requests are refined to remove the typical selfishness that seems to be a part of mankind’s nature. Watching what is really going on around us should lead us to requests that God would use us to speak boldly and lovingly about the good news of Jesus. When we are devoted to prayer in a way that is watchful and thankful, our requests of God tend to have a more eternal perspective as we realize the temporary nature of this life on earth.
- Act. Colossians 4:5, Proverbs 3:27
- Learning to watch and act means that we are listening to God and being obedient when He calls us to be the hands and feet of Jesus to the people around us. Many times we make our requests known to God and then we sit back and expect God or someone else to make them happen. Learning to pause and request doesn’t negate the need to act — it just puts the action that we take into the proper perspective of being directed by God. When you pray and make your requests known to God, especially requests for others, it is important that you also listen for the great possibility that God will call you to act in response to that request.
- Yield. Colossians 4:6, Matthew 6:10
- This may be the most difficult part of learning to watch and pray for many people. Yielding to God’s authority in all things means that we are not in charge. When we learn to let our words be seasoned with grace, we yield the need to be right about everything and we remove ourselves from the position of pretending we are God. Even when we pause, request, and act, we must be careful that our will is fully yielded to God and that we are not simply using a false spirituality to push our ways on others. Learning to watch and pray leads us to a point of joining in the prayer of Jesus, “Not my will, but yours be done.”
How will you Watch and PRAY today?
What would be different in the places where you live if you were to take seriously God’s instruction to be devoted to prayer, being watchful and thankful?