The Equipping Verse for the month of May is Colossians 4:2. It is a verse that focuses on prayer: Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. It is easy to read this verse and apply it to our personal prayer life, and that is okay. Yet, we need to take in mind is that the letter to the Colossians was written to the church in the city of Colossae by the Apostle Paul. Thus, Colossians 4:2 is a call for the local church to pray together.

The local church is to continue steadfastly in prayer… The Greek word that is translated continue steadfastly is in the plural and in the imperative mood. Therefore, this is a command from God for the church to pray together. The word can be translated, “busy oneself with, be busily engaged, be devoted to…” Christians then are to be devoted to corporate prayer within the local church.

Praying together is essential for the local church. The same Greek word in Colossians 4:2 was used elsewhere in the New Testament in regards to prayer. Acts 1:14 says, All these in one accord were devoting themselves to prayer… Also, Acts 2:42, And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.

In the J. B. Phillips New Testament, Colossians 4:2 reads, Always maintain the habit of prayer: be both alert and thankful as you pray. Robert W. Wall, in his commentary on this verse wrote that Christians are to possess a “gritty determination not to give up until God’s response comes.”

If Harvey Oaks Baptist Church is to experience the power of God and the fruit that last forever, then we are to possess the courageous determination to be devoted to the corporate times of prayer in the life of the church. This determination is to be especially displayed during the periods when the church is not seeing much spiritual fruit. At Harvey Oaks Baptist Church, there are several opportunities for corporate prayer:

  • “Sunday Night Storm” that meets at 6:00 PM on Sundays.
  • The youth group that meets on Mondays at 6:30 PM
  • The women’s Bible study that meets on Tuesdays at 10:00 AM.
  • The men’s Bible study that meets on Tuesdays at noon.
  • The weekly Bible study and prayer that meets on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM.
  • The men’s Bible study that meets on Thursday mornings at 6:30 AM.
  • The monthly elder’s meeting. The first part of the meeting is always spent in prayer and anyone is welcome to come and pray.

Since corporate prayer is commanded by God, which opportunity or opportunities will we be devoted to? Even if we are uncomfortable praying out loud, we can still come and pray in our hearts and minds. Corporate prayer is the only way for God to work powerfully among us. The future of Harvey Oaks Baptist Church depends on it! Jim Cymbala wrote in his book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire:

If we call upon the Lord, He has promised in His Word to answer, to bring the unsaved to Himself, to pour out His Spirit among us. If we don’t call upon the Lord, He has promised nothing—nothing at all. It’s as simple as that. No matter what I preach or what we claim to believe in our heads, the future will depend our times of prayer. This is the engine that will drive the church.

May the spiritual engine at HOBC become larger and more powerful!

Pastor Bryan