Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. – Colossians 4:2
In the closing of his letter to the Colossian church, Paul speaks to them about their dedication to prayer. He even goes so far as to ask them to pray for him that a door of opportunity would open for him to be able to preach the gospel. The apostle then continues and tells them how they should respond to the same opportunity for themselves. They should “be wise in the way [they] act toward outsiders” and to let their talk “[always] be full of grace, seasoned with salt.”
Despite the brevity of this verse, it is power-packed! God, through Paul, tells us, all, to devote ourselves to prayer! Do you notice that this isn’t a request but a direct order from our spiritual commander-in-chief? God doesn’t stop with a decree on prayer but adds that we are to be watchful and thankful. The KJV version says, “Continue in prayer and watch in the same with thanksgiving.” We see the focus continuing to be on prayer. Not only are we to be in continual prayer but also being vigilant in our prayers and with an attitude of gratitude.
So often we make prayer a wish list of goodies that we take to our ill-conceived notion of a Santa Claus God; however, Yahweh ISN’T Santa Claus. HE IS the God of the universe, all powerful, all knowing, all present, loving yet chastising, merciful yet just, compassionate yet unrelenting, gracious yet exacting. God is our Father, who loves us and wants to bless us; however, He will not answer every prayer willy-nilly. God knows what is best for us. We, on the other hand, need to learn how to pray and what to pray. There are even times when we don’t know what to pray, so the Holy Spirit prays on our behalf. This grace doesn’t excuse us from seeking God with all our heart and soul.
Prayer is our avenue of approach to God in faith through the blood of Jesus. There is no other way. Prayer is our greatest tool and weapon. We use it to express love, devotion, and praise to God. We use it to make known our petitions to God. We use it to intercede on behalf of others. We use it to hear from God, which should be our main point of prayer. Thus, we can see God’s basis for being watchful in prayer with an attitude of gratitude. We don’t know the day or hour at which Jesus will come for the saints, dead and alive, so He told us to watch for His coming and to be ready!
This coming for the saints (rapture) is the time when our blessed hope, Jesus, removes us from this world of death, decay, and sin. For this we should be grateful. We should be grateful for the mere fact that we are alive today, that God loves us, and for everything else He’s given us!!!
Practice the spiritual discipline of prayer. Make it a part of your daily life. Without it, you cannot know God or what He wants for you.
Father, I am stepping out in faith and delving into more prayer. I want to know the mind, will, and emotions of my Father through your Spirit. He knows your mind. He shares it with your children. I want to be so in tune, so in love, and so engrossed in you that I hear you speaking to me constantly. I believe that is what you meant when Paul wrote, “pray without ceasing.” The only way for our intimacy to grow is for me to devote more time to you in prayer. When I spend more time with you, I will know what you want for me. Strengthen me and give me more resolve to seek you and find you and spend more time in communion with you. I love you more that life itself. May I finish the work you’ve given me. In Jesus’ name, Amen.