Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
Prayer is designed to accomplish God’s ends and God’s way in God’s time. Acceptable prayer can only be prayed in and through the Spirit of the almighty God – and this verse in Colossians mentions three important aspects of prayer: Devote yourselves to prayer – keeping alert in it – with an attitude of thanksgiving.
A few simple words outline the high office and honour bestowed on all believers: CONTINUE in prayer – and WATCH in the same – with THANKSGIVING. This commanding verse directs us to continue in prayer – to persevere. This instructive scripture charges us to devote ourselves to prayer – unceasingly. We are to be dedicated, consecrated, and continuous in our prayers.
This powerful verse also instructs us to watch in our unceasing persevering prayer. We are to watch in circumspect alertness in our ceaseless, persistent praying – to watch with guarded diligence in our continuous, purposeful prayers. And we are to watch with grateful hearts – hearts of thanksgiving and praise to God. How vital is this – in spiritual warfare, intercessions, and supplicating prayer. We are to recognise the full purpose behind needful, ongoing, worshipful prayer.
As we take up the weapons of our praying warfare, we must remember two things. FIRST: we are to pray INTO God’s plans and Purposes – God’s Will in God’s Time. SECOND: we are simultaneously watching against the wily activity of the enemy. But there is a THIRD instruction – we are to pray with thanksgiving. We are to pray to the Father with a grateful heart and attitude of thankfulness.. in all things. Equal weight seems to be given to these three aspects of this tiny power-packed verse.
1) Continue in Prayer
2) Watch in the Same
3) With Thanksgiving
In Moule’s extended studies of these instructive verses in Colossians 2 he writes:- When you are at prayer, remember that prayer in the depth of its meaning.. is worship as well as petition…. so PERSEVERE. Prayer is indeed a rest and joy, but prayer is also a duty, a work, a ministry, and so it calls for purpose and PERSISTENCE. Watching in prayer is keeping wakeful ‘in’ the strength of the holy exercise of prayer against sin and for God – but in THANKSGIVING: Letting the spirit and action of gratitude, (as it were)…surround your watching and praying lives.
Too often thanksgiving is forgotten, especially when a believer is under trial. There is preciousness and power in thanksgiving, so never pray without GRATEFUL THANKS. If there is nothing else for which he can give thanks. He has always God in Christ. He has “That Blessed Hope,” and he has trial itself, which is sure to be somehow “precious”.
The Lord Himself is that first and ultimate expression of watchful prayer with thanks. I believe in ALL prayer and communion with God, whether supplication or intercession, thankfulness is often the one main missing ingredient – gratitude is the missing component which perfumes the entire task.
Let us with the apostles and saints alike give ourselves to fasting and prayer. Continuing with one accord in prayer. Giving ourselves continually to prayer. Helping together by prayer – prayer, made without ceasing. But let us pray with a thankful heart. Let us pray with an attitude of grateful praise to the Father.
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