Verse of the Day Devotion: Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.
One of the things we need to always remember is in order to be effective in what we do for God, we must persevere in prayer. This was Paul’s general advice to all Christians. No matter what God calls us to, we must always stay in communication with Him. And prayer should not be limited to what we are doing, but for all who are doing God’s work. Paul continues with the following. “praying at the same time for us as well, that God will open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.” Colossians 4:3-4. And this word is not limited by Paul to the Colossians, but he also said the same thing to the Ephesians. “With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.” Ephesians 6:18-20.
The main idea here is that we do not neglect prayer but continue earnestly in it. We are to be in such a frame of mind that we are ready at any moment to pray, either publicly or privately. Paul, in his first letter to the Thessalonians, succinctly writes, “pray without ceasing,” 1 Thessalonians 5:17. This takes it a step further. It is important to remember that prayer is a two-way communication. We must always be ready to not only speak to God, but also to hear from God.
I remember a time I was speaking with a young man I met in north Miami who had left his home and moved in with someone who got him to become hooked on some serious drugs. This destroyed his relationship with his family, especially his father. While driving him to his apartment, I was praying while talking with him. I spent several hours that night walking on the beach with him, discussing why he left home and left Jesus. I did not have all the words, but God directed me in this conversation and I got him to promise to go home to his father and begin going back to church. Since I was in the air force, I could not stay in contact with him, but a year later, God brought him back to my mind, so I asked Him to show me how he was doing. I was the sound man for a Christian rock band and that afternoon we were playing at a park in Miami. We were setting up our equipment when all of a sudden this young man was running up to me. It was the one I had spoken to a year earlier. He had gone home that next morning and his father and him settled their differences and their relationship became solid again. Also, He was attending Coconut Grove Baptist Church and was strengthening his relationship with God. I rejoiced for some time after this, thanking God for showing me this wonderful news.
Prayer is absolutely essential in our Christian walk. And, using a phrase a pastor friend once said, ‘not that we have to, but because we get to.’ Fellowship with Almighty God is one of the many blessings He has given to us. We must, as our focus verse says, devote ourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving. And even if we do not know what to pray for, we have a helper to assist. “In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.” Romans 8:26-27. He knows our hearts and understands what our needs are and is there to meet them.
In closing, Paul is telling us to be devoted to prayer and fellowshipping with God. We are to keep watch and not fall into error but remain alert to God’s ways. And we are to be thankful that we have a God who wants to hear from us, meet our needs, and speak to us as well. And we are to pray for all who are doing the work of God throughout the world, that they will succeed in what God is calling them to do. And again, always be alert to hear from Him as well. Who better to give us the knowledge we need to affectively do His will. Rely on Him for everything. He is faithful in all ways.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries.
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