"Continue earnestly in prayer..."
Text: Colossians 4:2
AN EXHORTATION TO PRAY MUCH
The apostle Paul was given to the practice of prayer. In all his epistles, the theme of prayer would somehow be touched upon. Sometimes it would be at the beginning of his epistle. At other times, it might be at the end of his epistle. And sometimes in both places!
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it
1. “Continue earnestly”
a) Paul used the imperative to convey strength in what he was saying.
b) This was not a mere suggestion.
c) The nuances communicated:-
i) To be devoted to praying.
ii) To continue and persevere in prayer.
iii) To be greatly engaged in prayer.
2. “Being vigilant in it”
a) The idea behind the word “vigilant”.
i) To not give in to sleepiness.
ii) To be consciously wakeful.
b) Jesus was the One who enjoined His disciples to “watch and pray” (Matthew 26:41)
i) One must struggle against problems that hinder effective praying.
ii) Vigilance or “watchfulness” is a spiritual discipline that must be mastered.
3. “With thanksgiving”
a) Praying with thanksgiving was certainly a distinctive trait of Paul’s prayer.
b) He urged his readers to include thanksgiving as a definite part of prayer.
c) What are some reasons for including “thanksgiving” in prayer?
i) It battles the problem of seeing prayer as a chore.
ii) It correctly highlights the place of prayer.
iii) Prayer is a very special privilege given to all believers.
iv) Praying with thanksgiving strengthens our efforts in prayer.
v) Praying with thanksgiving reflects faith in the Lord.