Praying For Ministers Of The Gospel (Colossians 4:2-4).

Paul often asks the Churches he wrote to to pray for him (see 1 Thess 5:25, 2 Thess 3:1). Here (Col 4:2-4), Paul asks the Colossians to pray for his effectiveness in ministry, the same way he too had prayed for them (Col 1:9-11).

Vs. 2 says, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.” Prayer is often taught in Scripture as a CONTINUOUS act (see Luke 18:1, 1 Thess 5:17 cf. Acts 6:4). It is to be perpetual practice amongst the saints.

Vs. 3 says, “Meanwhile praying also for us, THAT GOD WOULD OPEN TO US A DOOR FOR THE WORD, to SPEAK THE MYSTERY OF CHRIST, for which I am also in chains.” This statement is very instructive. Ministers of the Gospel must never feel that they don’t need the saints’ prayers, and the saints should NEVER relent, in praying for them.

Paul asks the saints at Colossae to pray that “God would open to us a door for the word” (or “a door for utterance,” the Greek says). That is, an opportunity for the Gospel to be preached.

Paul oftentimes refers to the opportunity to preach Christ, as “doors” (see 1 Corin 16:9, 2 Corin 2:12). This “door” (or opportunity) is “to speak the mystery of Christ” (vs. 3 says). This is Paul’s heart desire. Since Paul is in chains as he writes (being imprisoned), this prayer would come to pass by his release. So Paul seeks his freedom, so he can preach the Gospel freely again.

Vs. 4 says, “That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.” Paul sees the task of preaching as his obligation (“as I ought to speak“). The word “ought” translates the Greek “dei” (δεῖ) which means “necessary; as a matter of duty, behoves.” Paul is bound, in service, to proclaim the good news.

He sees no other life for himself, other than making Christ known, “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, WOE IS ME if I do not preach the gospel!” (1 Corin 9:16).

He would willingly die, for the Gospel’s sake, “But none of these things move me; NOR DO I COUNT MY LIFE DEAR TO MYSELF, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

Paul considers himself indebted to preach Christ, “I AM A DEBTOR both to Greeks and to barbarians, both to wise and to unwise. So, as much as is in me, I AM READY TO PREACH THE GOSPEL to you who are in Rome also” (Rom 1:14-15).

So, Paul implores the Colossians to pray for him that he could carry out his duties again, as a minister of the Gospel. A similar admonition was given to the Ephesians in the six chapter, “Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints—and for me, THAT UTTERANCE MAY BE GIVEN TO ME, that I may OPEN MY MOUTH BOLDLY to MAKE KNOWN the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I MAY SPEAK BOLDLY, as I ought to speak” (vv. 18-20).


© Josh Banks Ministries. 2022.


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