Continuing in our investigation of Paul’s letter to the Colossians…
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
The first thing I notice is that the Colossians evidently have a reputation of being a praying people since Paul is encouraging them to “continue” in prayer. The Greek for continue made it clear that prayer is worth the effort and energy devoted to it; it also requires a heart commitment (to be earnest). The Greek for watch is a reference to awareness and vigilance, a desire to discover and avoid danger. In other words, it shouldn’t be a time of rote repetition. Your heart and mind should be involved, and your words should have purpose.
Our time of prayer should always include expressions of thanksgiving. This is an area in which I have grown through the years. When you talk about prayer, most people think about asking God for things. Prayer is a time of fellowship with the Lord. As a loving Father, He definitely wants to hear our burdens and requests, but He also wants to hear words of love, appreciation and thanksgiving for the many blessings He gives us as well as for the amazing love and forgiveness which He so freely and unceasingly gives us.
Colossians 4:3-4 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds: That I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Paul does not hesitate to request prayer for himself and those ministering to and with him. Scripture is full of references to the Lord hearing and responding to the prayers of His people. There are many scriptures that encourage us to pray and let us know that our prayers delight the Lord.
Proverbs 15:8 The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the LORD: but the prayer of the upright is his delight.
Proverbs 15:29 The LORD is far from the wicked: but he heareth the prayer of the righteous.
Matthew 21:22 And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
James 5:16 ….The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.
Paul’s desire was to be able to continue sharing the gospel with the Gentiles, the very thing that had led to his imprisonment at the time of writing this letter. Paul had already defined this “mystery” in chapter 1 as the truth that salvation was meant for Gentiles as well as Jews. He is also asking for prayer to share the message clearly and in the right way. It’s interesting to me that although he was very well spoken, Paul didn’t depend on natural abilities in sharing the gospel message, he wanted supernatural provision and empowerment.
(to be continued...)