Colossians 4:2–4 (ESV)
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
According to a poll taken by US News and Beliefnet 68.1 percent of Christians pray more than once a day!!! That is tremendous news!
Paul, in our passage, tells the church at Colossae to ‘continue steadfast in prayer’ that would mean to pray, pray, pray, and then to pray some more!! Which according to the poll I cited above is happening…praise God! But Paul goes on to add some more things to this concept of praying steadfastly.
First Paul tells the church to be watchful in prayer. Being watchful in prayer means to be alert and aware of what is going on around us, spiritually speaking. We, as believers, need to be aware of the ‘spiritual climate’ which we live in and pray accordingly. This means that we can’t merely limit our prayers to those things that concern us, but include those things that concern the well-being of those around us (and not just friends and family, but neighbors both near and far!).
Secondly, Paul tells us that our prayers should be saturated with thanksgiving! That means that we don’t just pray and forget about it, but that we expect God to answer and then to give him thanks for those answers. Someone might ask, what if God doesn’t answer? Well for the believer that NEVER happens! God always answers, sometimes yes, sometimes no, and sometimes wait…but he always answers! So thank him for all three of those answers!
The third thing Paul adds to his initial admonition to pray is that there should be prayer for the preaching of the Gospel, so that those who don’t know Christ may come to know him. Paul wants open doors for the Gospel, and believes that prayer is a key to those open doors.
As we look at Paul’s prescription for prayer here in these verses we are reminded that much of our prayer life should be focused ‘outside of ourselves’. Not that it’s would be wrong for us to pray for ourselves…but certainly not ONLY for ourselves, and our own interests. So let’s be a part of PRAYER-PLUS!!!!