Five Points Blog
- Brent Nelson
- Jan 10, 2014
When Paul hears of the salvation of his beloved Colossians, he began to pray ceaselessly for them. He asks for knowledge of spiritual things and strength to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (Col. 1:9-11). Paul’s prayer for his dear brothers and sisters was a prayer for growth in their walk with Christ, for their sanctification.
But he didn’t pray as if his prayers were the primary cause of their sanctification. His motive wasn’t fear. Nor did he rely on human effort—neither his nor theirs—to see his brothers sanctified. His confidence comes from the certainty of God’s work to save the Colossians: “He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:13-14). The reason he prays is not that the Colossians might be saved, but because they are saved. He prays for God to do what he has done and certainly will do.
Biblical prayer isn’t rooted in uncertain wishes of our flesh; rather, it rises from the unshakable promises of God. With Paul there is no timid, anxious begging before God. Instead, he boldly, thankfully, and confidently requests of God the very things God has already done!
Mature, biblical praying always reveals itself by its fearless confidence in the promises of God.
How do the promises of God inform your prayer life? They must be the script of your conversation with God. Are you as mighty in prayer as you are in holding to sound doctrine? Does your prayer life match the truths you profess in zeal, thanksgiving, and boldness?
If you’re like me, you hope there is some accordance between doctrine and prayer in your life. Yet I confess a gap between the two far too wide. May the Lord mature us into mighty intercessors before his throne, boldly requesting and resting on the sure warrant of Christ Jesus our Lord, who is mighty to save.
- Brett Toney
- Jan 05, 2014
… In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
We pray in Jesus’ name because it is in him that we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. It is by the authority of the beloved Son who has purchased our freedom and conquered our enemy that we come before the Father in the power of his Spirit.
Why can Paul unceasingly ask for the Colossians to be filled with the knowledge of God’s will, for them to walk worthily, and for them to be strengthened with all power? That’s a rather bold and all-encompassing request. And frankly, it’s rather presumptuous of Paul … if it were on the basis of his own or the Colossians’ merit.
But boldly we approach the eternal thronebecause we have been redeemed by the beloved Son. Paul can unceasingly make such requests because of our redeeming deliverance. All of our prayers ought to be shaped and informed by this great work of God.
What have you been too timid to ask of the Lord? What great gospel-advancing, glory-communicating, worship-inspiring venture have you not sought God to fulfill because it seems too big? Jesus has not redeemed you just to be a doctrine dictionary or pew filler but one who will walk worthily, who will bear fruit in every good work, who will have all power.
As we draw Prayer Week to a close, how might we imitate Paul in praying such grand requests on the solid foundation of the redeeming work of Christ? For starters, let’s pray that we might have eyes to see a vision of such great things he may do, for the faith to believe that he can do far more than we could ever ask or imagine.
Pray today that …
· Our fervency in prayer would not be limited to this week but continue throughout 2014 and our lives.
· We would not quench any stirring towards prayer but take every opportunity to bring any request before our Father in Heaven.
· We would be faithful in praying together as families, Shepherd Groups, roommates, spouses, and the gathered church.
- JJ Sherwood
- Jan 04, 2014
Charles Spurgeon preached Christ In The Covenant on August 31, 1856 at the New Park Street Chapel in the London borough of Southwark. In the section below, he encourages his congregation to not only worship Jesus as Savior, but go to him daily and rely on his strength moment by moment.
“There is nothing Christ dislikes more than for his people to make a show-thing of him and not to use him. He loves to be worked. He is a great laborer. He always was for his Father, and now he loves to be a great laborer for his brethren. The more burdens you put on his shoulders, the better he will love you. Cast your burdens on him. You will never know the sympathy of Christ's heart and the love of his soul so well as when you have heaved a heavy mountain of trouble from yourself to his shoulders, and have found that he does not stagger under the weight. Are your troubles like huge mountains of snow upon your spirit? Bid them rumble like an avalanche upon the shoulders of Almighty Christ. He can bear them all away, and carry them into the depths of the sea.”
Charles Spurgeon, Christ In The Covenant, II.4
As we come to the close of Prayer Week, let us intensify our resolve to be a people of prayer that loves walk with our Savior every moment, heaping all our cares and concerns upon our His mighty shoulders. And may God grant much grace so that this would set the tone for the rest of our days.
- Brett Toney
- Jan 04, 2014
He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son … .
The apostle provides the firm footing on which his prayer is founded in v.13-14: the wondrous, redeeming work of God.
We saw yesterday how the only viable response to being qualified to share in the inheritance is gratitude. And how much more grateful ought we be when we consider both what we have been redeemed from and redeemed to.
Everyone of us in Christ was at one time in open rebellion against King Jesus. We loved being citizens of the Darklands, advancing our ignoble cause of unrighteousness. We delighted to feast at the banquet in the grave. We lusted for our egos to be pet and to be fawned over. What grace that we have been delivered from such desolation! What mercy that rebels are redeemed!
And every one of us in Christ has been naturalized as citizens of a Far Country. We’ve been ushered in, not through the back door, but in honor and dignity as trophies of grace. In our new kingdom, we are not shunned for what we once were but considered sons and daughters of the King. We now partake in the joy of our Sovereign and rest in the hope of his, “Well done.”
Give time today to consider the particular things God in his kindness has delivered you from. But may they not be a source of guilt or shame; you have no need to fear your King. Instead, may you view them the way he does: displays of the vastness of his great grace. Pray that we would be a people who revel in his mercy and rejoice at seeing rebels redeemed.
Pray today that …
· God would raise up leaders who are prepared to help launch a daughter church.
· God-glorifying partner ministries would be made clear that we would plant a healthy church.
· We would be burdened in seeing the gospel go forth and people redeemed by Christ in Southeast Michigan.
- Brent Nelson
- Jan 03, 2014
19th century preacher A. T. Pierson said, "There has never been a spiritual awakening in any country or locality that did not begin in united prayer." Prayer-empowered Word is the only means God uses to save souls. No one is saved any other way. A spiritual awakening—a season when many people are justified before the face of the Holy God—is what loving people should most desire, since they most desire God and his purposes. Believers’ desire for God is expressed in their desire for others to join them in treasuring the God of their justification, since a shared joy is a doubled joy.
Therefore, God-saturated people will be a prayer-saturated people. My aim in this January series of messages, as we launch in to a new year, is to help us grow in our desire to be a prayer-saturated people in order that we might not be passed by in God’s awakening power to save sinners. This Lord’s Day I will explore the role of prayer in our justification. Next week, we’ll look at the link between prayer and our sanctification and, Lord-willing, the final message will be “Prayer and Our Glorification.”
You can see this to be Paul’s deep conviction and desire in Romans 10:1, “Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them is that they may be saved.” Speaking of his Hebrew kinsman, Paul expresses the deep desire of his heart in salvation-aimed prayer to God. His wildly powerful love for God and earnest, genuine love for his lost friends explodes in zealous prayer that they might be saved.
Would you pray for this kind of prayer-saturation to grow among us? We do not pray as we ought. One reason may be that we do not fully appreciate the role of prayer in our justification. May God reward you with greater joy in his Son, Jesus Christ, as you seek him with us in prayer.