“Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” Colossians 4:2
In this verse we see Paul exhorting the church in Colosse to “Continue in prayer”. The Greek word used for “continue” is proskartereo and it conveys the meaning of persevering and being devoted. In other words Paul is urging the Colossian church to be devoted and perseverant in their prayer life. This applies equally to each of us. God wants us to pray to Him continually (Thess 5:17), He wants us to recognise our need for Him and to be seeking Him in all aspects of our life. If we are asking for something in accordance with His will then we have the promise of His Word that He will answer that prayer; “And whatsover ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13). How often do we avail ourselves of this incredible privilege? Sometimes God will not answer our prayer and that can be difficult, painful even, but when this happens we must remember that we pray “Thy will be done”, we do not want the Lord to answer a prayer that is not in line with His will. We do not have all of the information in any given situation, but God does. We also know that God is sovereign, that He is good and does good (Psalm 119:68) and that “all things work together for good to them that love God” (Rom 8:28).
“and watch in the same with thanksgiving;” the original Greek word used for “watch” also translates as “wakeful” or “give strict attention to”. God wants us to be alert when we pray, not half asleep. Is this a challenge for you? In our busy lives we may often we find that the most opportune time to pray is either first thing in the morning or last thing at night. Certainly it is not a bad thing to pray at these times, there is never a bad time to pray, the important thing is that we be alert enough in our prayer time so that we can hear and discern His still, small voice. Paul goes on to mention the need for thanksgiving to accompany our prayers, that we be thankful for our salvation, for the opportunity to be able to come boldly before the throne of grace and also to be thankful for answered prayer. Perhaps slightly with his tongue in cheek, Charles Spurgeon once said “Prayer should be mingled with praise. I have heard that in New England after the Puritans had settled there a long while, they used to have very often a day of humiliation, fasting, and prayer, till they had so many days of fasting, humiliation, and prayer, that at last a good senator proposed that they should change it for once, and have a day of thanksgiving”. Praise God that we can come to Him, our Heavenly Father, at any time, in any place, and pour our heart to Him and know that He cares and is listening to us. Praise God that we have an advocate with the Father, a High Priest who is constantly interceding for us, and a Comforter that is making intercession for us with groanings that cannot be uttered, what a gracious God it is we serve!
Brothers and sisters let us not neglect the gift of prayer. Consider the amount of time that Jesus spent in prayer, Jesus, the only begotten Son of God. If our Lord and Saviour needed to pray as much as He did while He walked the earth how much more so do we? Let us also not underestimate the power of prayer ; “The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. Elijah was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.” (James 5:16-17). The power of one person can and does make a difference. God implicitly tells us that He would have spared the land had He found just one praying man; “And I sought for a man among them, that should make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none” (Ezekiel 22:30). Oh that we would be prayer warriors, each and everyone of us! Let us be disciplined and see to it that we always make time for prayer (Matthew 6:6). Leonard Ravenhill said the following: There’s nothing more transfiguring than prayer. People often ask, “Why do you insist on prayer so much?” The answer is very simple – because Jesus did.
For the full article click here: Prayer by L. Ravenhill