KEEP YOUR EYES OPEN: Our primary posture during prayer is often sitting down, head bowed, hands folded and eyes closed. Certainly there are benefits to all of those aspects, but v2 calls us to a different sort of prayer posture. Being 'devoted' means to focus all of your strength towards God; Being 'watchful' means staying alert to both the needs of the world around us, and the way that God is active in it; of course being 'thankful' means that we respond back to God for the things He's done. The kind of prayer v2 calls you to is not something that can be done in just a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day or before a meal, rather it's a way of living in harmony and continual communication with God as you go through your daily activities.
It's only when you're using all of your strength (both spiritually and physically) that you'll notice that God has 'opened the door for your message.'
DON'T BE BORING: Verses 5-6 call us to wisely interact with the 'outsiders,' that is, those who are not yet in Christ. The primary instruction is that the words you speak always reflect God's grace. But that doesn't necessarily mean 'preachy.' Make sure your conversations are 'seasoned with salt.' In other words, speak the language of the person you're talking to. Know what they're interested in, what's important to them, and be involved in their activities (wisely, of course). It's in adding this 'salt' to your conversations that you will know how to answer their concerns.
INTRODUCING ONESIMUS ( OH + NEE + SI + MUHS ) - Onesimus (v9) is probably the most famous Bible character you've never heard of. In fact, he's the subject of the letter to Philemon that we'll read tomorrow. Onesimus was a slave who escaped from his owner, Philemon, and came to aid Paul in prison. We'll learn more about that situation tomorrow, but for now look at how Paul describes him: "Our faithful and dear brother, who is one of you." To put a slave on par with the rest of society was revolutionary at the time, but it's just a reflection on how all people are made equal in Christ.
This Sunday (June 28) we look forward to coming together to celebrate Communion. Just as you would prepare yourself for a formal dinner, you are called to prepare your soul for the Lord’s Supper. Each day's DIG DEEPER post this week will help you prepare to experience Christ in this special way on Sunday.
AAA Prayer Tips:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God sovereignly controls all things and opens the door in preparation for the gospel message (v9)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful (v2)
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: