Words have power. They can encourage or discourage. They can give direction or they can cause confusion. They can help or they can hurt. They can mend relationships or tear them apart. They can inspire or demoralize. They can lead to life or they can lead to death.
Your words matter. They matter to other people and they matter to God. It matters what you say, and it matters what you pray.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, 4 so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak. 5 Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.6 Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. (Colossians 4:2-6)
It Matters What You Pray
From Colossians 4:2-3, you learn five guiding principles about prayer. These help to guide your prayer life.
2 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message… (Colossians 4:2-3)
- Prayer is a conversation between you and God (v2). What an amazing truth that the God of the universe listens when you pray! Just talk to Him, and then listen quietly as He speaks to your heart and mind. Some people literally pull up a chair beside them to remind them that God is there in the room listening.
- Be devoted to prayer (v2). Make prayer a priority in your life. Put it in your daily schedule. Reserve time for prayer. Find a place to get alone, just you and God.
- Be ready to pray (v2). The Bible says that we are to pray without ceasing. This means that as the events of life unfold, be ready to pause — even if it’s only for a moment — to pray. When you read the headlines, pray about world events. When you are about to head into a meeting, pray. When you are facing temptation, pray. When you need direction on a decision, pray. Be ready to pray at all times.
- Be thankful as you pray (v2). As you pray, remember to tell God what you are thankful for, because that list is long. Above all, express thanksgiving for the salvation you have in Christ. Be thankful as you pray.
- Pray for open doors for the gospel (v3). The apostle Paul, one of the greatest evangelists and church planters the world has ever known, asked his friends to pray for him to have open doors to share the gospel of Jesus Christ (v3). If he needed prayer for that, then we do too. Pray for your friends to have opportunities to share the good news of Jesus Christ, and pray the same for you. God loves to answer that prayer. When you pray it, you will begin to notice open doors all around.
It Matters What You Say
Colossians 4:3-6 teaches five guiding principles on your speech.
3 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah, for which I am in prison, 4 so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak. 5 Act wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the time.6 Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person. (Colossians 4:3-6)
- Be ready to share the good news of Jesus Christ when God opens the door (vv3-4). When God opens a door for you to share your faith story with someone, tell them about what God has done and is doing in your life. Your words matter.
- Your actions impact how people hear your words (v5). The Bible tells you in verse five that it is important how you act toward outsiders. It should be evident to all that you are an authentic follower of Christ, therefore when you invite them to church or engage them in a spiritual conversation they won’t be confused. Your Christ-honoring lifestyle will reinforce the words that come from your mouth.
- Speak graciously (v6). As a Christ-follower, you realize how gracious God has been to you. The Holy Spirit fills your life, and gives you the capacity to speak graciously to others. Don’t speak harshly. Speak graciously. Those words will point people to Christ.
- Speak in a way that engages the imagination (v5). When the Bible says (v5) that our conversation should be “seasoned with salt,” this means that Christians’ words should add flavor to life! Your words should engage the imagination of those you are talking with. Look for Christ-honoring ways to add flavor to the conversations of life.
- Every conversation is important (v6). Verse six tells you that you should know how to answer everyone. When you read the stories of Jesus in the gospels, you realize that every single person was important to Him. Every conversation was important. It should be the same with you too. Your words matter. People matter to God.