MAY 28

Praying for a Worthy Walk

Bible Reading: Colossians 1:9-14

Grant Richison said of this prayer: “Paul begins with a prayer for the Colossians that touches all the bases of their need. This is one of the greatest prayers of the Bible.”  There is so much here to instruct us in the kinds of things we should pray about for ourselves and others.  But a simple outline of the prayer goes something like this: 1) prayer that we may know the will of God (1:9); prayer that we might walk in a worthy manner (1:10); prayer that we might be empowered by God in all (1:11-12).

I once heard someone say that for the Christian, “success is knowing and doing the will of God.”  There’s truth in that. F. E. Marsh said it this way: “The will of God – nothing less, nothing more, nothing else.”  When it comes to knowing and doing the will of God, prayer plays a vital role.  Recall how Jesus taught His disciples to pray “Thy will be done” (Matthew 6:10).  Remember also how Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemane, “Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done” (Luke 22:42).  It is as Warren Wiersbe said: “We surrender our wills to God through disciplined prayer. As we spend time in prayer, we surrender our will to God and pray, with the Lord, “Not my will, but Thy will be done.” We must pray about everything, and let God have His way in everything.”

I had an experience years ago where God worked to move my heart through prayer in an amazing way.  I praise and thank God as I look back at it, marveling at His ability to lead me along in prayer.  I was working at Trojan Nuclear Plant in a lucrative salary job as a Training Specialist.  We had two of our kids at that time and were living in Columbia City in a lovely newer home.  Laura and I were very active in the ministry at St. Helens Community Bible, where I was serving as an elder.  It would seem that we had everything we wanted and that life for us was just as it should be.   

All was well, except for the nagging thought that God had something else for me to do.  God was tugging at my heart, and the thought of preparing myself for pastoral ministry kept entering my mind.  So, I was praying about the matter.  Day after day over a period of many months I prayed about it.  I wrestled with God in prayer: “God, there’s no way I can support my family if I were to quit my job and head off to Bible School!”  I’d try my hardest to tuck the thought away, only to have it pop out again.  God was working through my prayers to change my heart and move me to make a dramatic decision.

After many months of this, I finally decided to resign my job.  My boss was shocked, but then graciously offered to keep me on part-time to help out with the costs I’d incur at Western Seminary.  G. I. Bill funds helped with tuition costs also.  Some coworkers and a few family members decided that I was crazy to do what I was doing.  All I could say to them was that I was doing what I sensed that God wanted me to do.  My coworkers and I didn’t know it at the time, but a decision to permanently close the Nuclear Plant would soon be forthcoming.

God provided for all our needs in amazing fashion throughout my Bible training at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland.  I graduated in the spring of 1990, just in time to receive a call regarding the need for a pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church.  The church ultimately called me to serve as pastor and God kept me there for the next twenty-seven and ½ years. So, on that June 1st, 1990, Sunday I preached on the Supremacy of Christ in that big sanctuary to a huge crowd of twelve people!  On that day, and for the twenty-seven and ½ years that followed, I never doubted that God had called me to serve as pastor in that place.  But none of that would have happened if God hadn’t been at work in me “to will and work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).  God worked through my prayers, and the prayers of others, to move my heart that I might know and do His bidding.

If you are a believer in Christ, you’ve been saved and gifted to serve Him in some fashion, in the good works He’s prepared ahead of time for you to do (Ephesians 2:10).  Are you even now struggling to find your place or role in that?  It’s impossible to steer a bike that’s not moving. The best way to get your heart moving in God’s direction is to pray. Likewise, this prayer is helpful for any of us to pray at any time for anyone, touching on many important aspects of walking in a manner which is pleasing to the Lord Jesus!

Success for the Christian is Knowing and Doing the Will of God, and Prayer Plays a Huge Role in Both

TAKE MY LIFE AND LET IT BE

Take my life and let it be
consecrated, Lord, to thee.
Take my moments and my days;
let them flow in endless praise,
let them flow in endless praise.

Take my hands and let them move
at the impulse of thy love.
Take my feet and let them be
swift and beautiful for thee,
swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing
always, only, for my King.
Take my lips and let them be
filled with messages from thee,
filled with messages from thee.

Take my silver and my gold;
not a mite would I withhold.
Take my intellect and use
every power as thou shalt choose,
every power as thou shalt choose.

Take my will and make it thine;
it shall be no longer mine.
Take my heart it is thine own;
it shall be thy royal throne,
it shall be thy royal throne.

Take my love; my Lord, I pour
at thy feet its treasure store.
Take myself, and I will be
ever, only, all for thee,
ever, only, all for thee.

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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