Continue Steadfastly In Prayer - Colossians 4:2-4

Doug Petty

It should not surprise us that the apostle Paul would urge Christians in Colossae to pray, and to “continue steadfastly in prayer.” After all, they had been buried with Christ in baptism (Col. 2:12) and had been “raised with Christ” to seek those things which are above (Col. 3:1). As such, they were people who would enjoy the benefits of praying to God.

Paul goes even further, telling them to be “vigilant” in prayer, “with thanksgiving.” The idea of vigilance involves awareness, being alert. The KJV, and other older versions, uses the words “watch” or “watchful.” This refers to more than just one’s physical vision; it is more about one’s awareness. We need to be aware of all that should be included in prayer. It is to be aware of our needs, as well as the needs of others, when we pray. I am afraid that too many times our prayers are more of a list of demands that we expect to be delivered forthwith, instead of a prayer by which we ask or seek God’s blessings (as He sees fit) and give thanks and praise for what has already been enjoyed. We ought to be vigilant in our prayers and make sure that we are always aware of God’s care for us and for our need to speak to Him. We must also be sure that we are ready and willing to accept His answers concerning those things we ask of Him.

It is also noteworthy that Paul asks the Colossians to pray for him and his coworkers: “praying also for us.” I am sure that many have the mistaken idea that the apostles were granted a privilege and status that stood far above what was granted to others. Such was not the case at all. While it is true that they had been selected as communicators of God’s will (inspired and granted what would be needed to fulfill the task), they had no spiritual elevation above their brothers and sisters in Christ. They were men who were tempted, capable of weakness, fatigue, and discouragement. They faced the same challenges that all of God’s servants face as we live and work for the Lord. They needed the prayers of the saints just as all of us do!

Paul then specified what his need was: “that God would open to us a door for the word ...” Paul’s interest was in an opportunity to have open doors through which the gospel would be delivered. He believed that God would respond to the prayers of the saints and act in a providential way to open those doors! We must never forget that the preaching of the gospel is more than just the delivery of information by His servants. We must be aware that God has a hand in this process! It is He that is able to open doors, and His servants should always be mindful that we are to petition Him for the success of this life changing, soul saving mission.

How about you? Do you continue steadfastly in prayer? Are you vigilant or watchful, being aware of the work that needs to be accomplished in the service of our Lord? Do you regularly petition God to bless the efforts that are being set forth to further the kingdom of our Lord and Savior? 290 S. Green St., PO box 237, Berkeley Springs, WV 25411. (304) 258-5175.

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