The key verse for today’s study is a bit of a challenge isn’t it? Paul’s letter to the Colossians 3:5 (NIV): ‘Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature … ‘. What aspect of your sinful nature did you put to death – last week, last month, last year? We, who follow Jesus, know that we must put to death the sin in our lives – the question is: do we keep talking to God about the need to do something about an identified sin but never actually eradicating it from our life? If, we don’t do something about it now – then Jesus will do something about it when He returns!
Selwyn writes: “John Stott defines mortification in this way: ‘It is taking up, towards sin, an attitude of resolute antagonism. The uncovering of sin in itself is of little value unless it leads to an attitude both of humility towards God and of hostility towards sin.’ “
In this final study on prayer, Selwyn uses these words to summarise the last two months of discussion: “We have seen that prayer is at the heart of the devotional life and that spiritual progress is determined to a large degree by how effective we are in prayer.
The basic elements of prayer, we have been saying, are these: worship, adoration, thanksgiving and praise, petition, intercession, listening to God and confession of sin. Our prayers are not spoiled if one of these ingredients is left out, but prayer which does not at some time contain these elements lacks maturity.”
In summary, prayer is the way we talk to our loving God – I think that the strength of our love for God and other people, is reflected in the time we spend with our Lord – talking to Him about the issues that concern us; and with our spirit align with His – we can also participate with Him, in the issues which concern Him the most. It’s a beautiful relationship that we, through prayer, can work in His harvest field; and then sit down with Him at the end of the day after the work is done, to enjoy a fantastic feast – with Him at the head of the table. How great is that?