5 Slaves, obey your human masters with fear and trembling, in the sincerity of your heart, as you would Christ. 6 Don’t work only while being watched, as people-pleasers, but as slaves of Christ, do God’s will from your heart. 7 Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to people, 8 knowing that whatever good each one does, slave or free, he will receive this back from the Lord. 9 And masters, treat your slaves the same way, without threatening them, because you know that both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him (Ephesians 6.5-9, CSB).
Memory Verse – Serve with a good attitude, as to the Lord and not to people – Ephesians 6.7
We have been discussing how to be a good church member, how this starts with the right attitude. This attitude is made up of four components, being a Unifying Church Member, being a Sacrificial Church Member, being a Praying Church Member and being a Joyous Church Member.
In the last two days we have looked at the first two components; Unity and Sacrifice; today we are going to look at what it takes to be a Praying Church Member. Prayer is powerful and something each and everyone of us should be doing. It is the way we communicate with our Heavenly Father, who loves us so much, He sent His Son to die in our place.
The apostle Paul understood the power of prayer, it is rare to find a letter he wrote where he is not mentioning prayer of some kind in it, especially the power of prayer. Paul in his letter to the church at Colossae, wrote, “We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you” (Colossians 1.3, ASV). Praying always for the church, giving thanks to God the Father, what they were doing and who they were becoming.
However, he did not stop there, he continued in verse nine;
And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him: bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; being strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy; giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light (Colossians 1.9-12, ESV).
Prayer is powerful, when it is used, when we do it. See, that is the key, we must do it; yes, we must make sure we are not regarding sin in our lives as the Psalmist says (Psalm 66.18). What does it mean to ‘regard sin’ in my life? Is there something in your life you have not brought before the throne of God, some evil you love more than God, some sin? This is what it means to ‘regard sin’ in your life. How can we ever expect God to hear us?
Prayer is powerful. When we come to God, He will hear and answer in His time and place, but we must understand that not praying is sinful and shameful. To say I do not know what to say is ignorant, as the Word of God is full of words to cry out to our Heavenly Father.
Reading the Psalms or even Paul’s letters will give any reader great insight into how to pray. No seminary is needed, not Bible class, no sermon, no Sunday School class, just read God’s Holy Word and each and every one of us can know and understand how to come before Almighty God.
Paul encourages young Timothy about why we must have a prayerful attitude, “Furthermore, he must have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the devil’s trap” (I Timothy 3.7, CSB). At a glance one might not think anything about this verse in relation to prayer, but Paul is reminding Timothy about the qualifications for a pastor, and his last one is his reputation. It must be good with those outside the church, he must not fall into disgrace or the devil’s trap.
How would a pastor go about doing this? He must be a man of prayer. If he never prays, never spends anytime at the feet of the Master, then how would he ever have the strength or wisdom to stand against the evil one or avoid his traps?
Prayer is powerful and part of our armor, the long-range weapon we can use to combat Satan, and the forces of evil wherever and whenever. There is no training needed, no special qualifications, no certain understanding to it. All we need to do is communicate to our Father in Heaven who is ready to listen and act on our behalf.
Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert and always persevere in supplication for all the saints. Pray also for me, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it boldly, as I must speak (Ephesians 6.18-20, NRSV).
Three times in these verses Paul uses the word ‘pray,’ pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication. Prayer without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5.17), we must always be ready, taking everything to God in prayer. Allowing Him to help us and others in times of need.
But Paul goes on, its not just about ourselves, but others as well, leaders and people in difficult roles like Paul. He says, “Pray also for, so that when I speak, a message may be given to me” that he would have boldness to speak it. Again, he says, “Pray that I may declare the message boldly.”
We cannot be afraid to pray, we must pray and our command is to communicate with our Heavenly Father. Being reminded we have the Holy Spirit within us to help us when we do not know or understand how to pray (Romans 8.26-27).
With the right attitude we can find ourselves being united together, sacrificing for each other and praying as God intended us to do. A Praying Church Member makes the church more powerful, unified, sacrificial, loving, caring and compassionate. But most importantly it will be a church which see God’s plan for His kingdom and desires to see the lost come to know Him as their Lord and Savior.
Lord I cry out to You, I come to You humbly asking for You to hear my plea and answer my prayer. Lord I know I do not spend enough time on my knees and face before You, please forgive me. I can spend hours and hours doing other things, but no time in communication with You. I find all kinds of excuses, but none are any good, as You have asked me to talk with You, to cast all my care upon You. How will I ever do this if I do not talk with You. Lord help me to spend more time in prayer with You. I know this will help my walk and my ability share Your gospel with others today and every day until Christ returns. I pray all this in Jesus Christ’s Name, Amen.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (Eph 6:5–9). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 American Standard Version. (1995). (Col 1:3). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.
 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). (Col 1:9–12). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.
 Christian Standard Bible. (2020). (1 Ti 3:7). Nashville, TN: Holman Bible Publishers.
 The Holy Bible: New Revised Standard Version. (1989). (Eph 6:18–20). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
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