I am in a small town of 18,000 called Piratininga, in Sao Paulo State, Brazil. I would imagine that 99% of the people that read this have never heard of this place. It is a quaint little town that happens to be the home of the headquarters for one of the most influential worship music labels in modern worship…Vineyard Music. The leaders of this organization for Brazil live here. I’ve had a wonderful time getting to know one of their producers, Raphael Costa, a talented guitar player and producer with an amazing heart for the Lord. There are too many amazing people to list them all, but this has truly been a wonderful time of outreach. And over the last two weeks the Lord has been feeding me daily through a scripture from Colossians.
Colossians 4:2-6 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. 5Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. 6 Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
For me, in my outreach history, this is a time to work as hard as possible, preach as much as possible, teach, evangelize, and do as many crazy things as possible to see God’s kingdom extended across the globe. Now, I am still just as passionate for those things, but the Lord has re-centered my focus onto His face. The Lord called our team to take each morning this past week and devote ourselves to prayer for three hours. This was motivated in part by this passage.
Take a moment to consider this. Paul, one of the greatest evangelists to walk the earth challenged the readers of this letter to devote themselves to prayer. He challenges us elsewhere about evangelism, but here he takes the time to challenge us to be devoted to prayer. Devotion to prayer requires the willingness to be inconvenienced. We must be willing to lay down our plans, agendas, and striving to take up what is on His heart. In Philippians Paul calls us to press in for the prize of knowing Jesus our Lord. Here, he challenges us to press into prayer to see the doors open up for the Gospel. We are to pray that the Gospel message is declared clearly and with wisdom. From this place of being devoted to prayer he challenges us further to have our conversations seasoned with salt.
The devotion to prayer is what allows our seasoning to be appropriately directed. If we don’t have the foundation of prayer then our saltiness can be wasted at the wrong time and in the wrong amounts. My hope and prayer is that every time I take the saltshaker out and spread the salt in my conversations it would be tossed on top of a foundation of prayer.
I will no longer scoff at outreaches filled with prayer walks and prayer watches. I want to live my life like this passage challenges me to live. Devoted to prayer and seasoned with salt! This is a powerful combination. Our team begins a 24 hour prayer watch tomorrow night at 6:00 p.m. Maybe you want to join us. Pray for doors to open for the Gospel message to go forth. Pray that the Word would be preached with clarity and wisdom and that we would always be seasoned with salt to share the love of Christ with all He calls us to minister to here in Brazil and across the nations!