Often after preaching a sermon, there are things I wish I would have said, clarifications I wish I would have made, or insights from post-sermon conversations with others that can be really helpful.
In these posts, I want offer a running list of short, post-sermon thoughts. They're in no particular order and I hope they're helpful to you in some way. If you weren't with us on Sunday, 1.10.16, here are my NOTES which are pretty slim this week. Lots of the sermon was in my head and heart. The text was Colossians 1:1-14 and the sermon title was: Do I pray?
The issue of the day in Paul's letter to the Colossians was Syncretism/Pluralism. They were being tempted to worship "Jesus + other things." It's no coincidence that Paul began his letter by praying for them and teaching them how to pray for one another. How else do we influence our culture? It's not through killer bands, connect cards, and stage lighting. It's powered and sustained through prayer, which is the foundation of every step in Plan A. We don't have a plan B.
- Words have meaning - We use always, never, all, only, and other extreme words in contexts that aren't true. i.e. "You always" or "You never" when speaking about or to someone else. Paul, in this passage means these words for what they are. He's not overemphasizing or dramatizing. He really does believe it is possible for people to be filled with ALL wisdom.
I really, really want us to be a church that prays - prioritizing, teaching, practicing, and learning to pray.
I really, really want to be a man who grows in prayer. I don't pray enough. Enough for what? Enough to satisfy my soul with the One who is All-Satisfying.
There are a million things offering to ultimately satisfy us. In my short 37 year life, I'm learning they don't deliver what they promise.
I mentioned that we'll be rolling out some ongoing (permanent) opportunities for us to gather and pray. First in our Missional Communities and then corporately. It was vague mostly on purpose. I was priming the pumps of your curiosities and fears. My bad if that was frustrating to you. More info to come soon through your MC leaders.
I really love the way Paul writes. He is a man full of passion.
I mentioned that we don't pray much and used a 1%, 2%, and 0% scenario to illustrate how many of our "waking" hours we spend praying. My own prayer time for the last week came in at under 1%.
The Gospel speaks CLEARLY to what crept into my heart when I realized how little I pray. Shame, guilt, and fear are all addressed brutally at the cross. We don't, didn't, and can't bear that penalty.
But Jesus did.
Therefore, we are free to pray and thank God and try to prioritize, practice, and make some effort toward being in Communion with our Creator.
Prayer is both speaking and listening.
Our prayers are powerful and effective on behalf of others.
I really hope you do carry the piece of paper with peoples names on it from last night.
I am praying that you also remember to pray for people in our church family, outside of our church family, and outside the Kingdom of God.
God hears our prayers.
Are we filling the air with them? Filling His "ears" with them? Filling our hearts with reflections on God? Asking Him to use us and bring salvation to others?