Colossians 4:2 – Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Matthew 26:41 – “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
We are called to be devoted in prayer. Prayer to what, a broomstick? No, prayer to God. Like faith, the object of our prayer determines the usefulness of it. Let me fearlessly proclaim the truth that believing for salvation through any other person or way than through Jesus Christ of the Gospel, is useless. Mohammed cannot save, Buddha cannot save, Confucius cannot save, government cannot save, philosophy cannot save, science (pseudo or actual) cannot save. Only Jesus Christ can save a soul now and forever.
At work a co-worker once said that he had a tough year. He then added that it will be okay because he has hope and faith. I then asked him what he meant by that. He said that he had hope and faith that everything will be okay. He then added that everybody needs hope and faith. Continuing he said we all need to believe that things will get better. I agreed but specified that it is quite empty to have hope and faith in hope and faith. Hope and faith need to be attached to something. It is quite useless to ask a man with no food and no means of getting food for food. I wish that I then had more time to continue the conversation.
The something that we have hope and faith in should be something, or someone that has the power, the ability and the desire to fulfill and reward our hope and faith. We must put our hope and faith in one that is equal to the task. Likewise, prayer in and of itself means nothing if the receiver of our prayer is not God. Only He is able to receive and perfectly answer our requests, hopes and dreams. He alone can absolutely answer every prayer. He does so as He wills and what He wills is what is best for us. When praying, and in all our life, our will should be that His will be done because we know His will is what is best. If we don’t know that, we need to stop, go to the refrigerator, and eat a big piece of humble pie. It is best to let God guide us gently to humility rather than Him having to put a horse bridle on us. (Psalm 32:9)
Focused on God we devote ourselves to prayer. Pray until it becomes more natural than talking to anyone else. It is a way of life, a habit. But it is more than a habit or a way of life. We have many habits in life. Without any deep thought we brush our teeth. We must be in the “habit” of prayer, but not a mindless habit. We are to be purposeful and thoughtful in prayer. We should mature to a point where we have a perpetual awareness of the presence and love of God. Having that awareness, we don’t have to gear ourselves up to pray. Like talking to someone and then changing the subject. You don’t have to go through greetings again because the subject is changed. Likewise, every time we pray it should be an awareness of His presence, and a natural and continual flow of walking and talking with Him.
Most of us have been on long car rides with someone. When the trip is started, the conversation usually is flowing. After a bit of time perhaps we must navigate past a potentially dangerous section of the road. While we do this we don’t forget that the person in the car is next to us. We are aware of their presence though not talking to them at that moment. We can resume talking to the passenger of the car at any time and about anything. They are with us and we are aware of their presence. The passenger is on the same journey with us. God is the driver and we are the passenger and we can talk to the driver at any time. It is what we do. So, it is natural for us to just talk to God at any time about anything because it is a continual conversation with someone who is with us on this journey of life.
During our prayer, we should be watchful. We should be aware that the enemy is always about seeking to destroy us (1 Peter 5:8). We should bring a danger to us, and to others, to the Lord. We should bring the threats and the trials to the Lord. He is the one who loves and protects us.
We should also be watchfully looking forward to the answer to our prayers. We come to God with hopeful and sure expectancy. (Psalm 91:15) Knowing who He is, we should say to the Lord “help me” with the knowledge that He wants to help and is able to help. Not merely a mental assent but a deep down conviction that confidently expects an answer. We know that we are not praying into empty air, but to a loving God who wants to answer. We must be watchful and listening for His sure response. We may not “hear” the answer right away, and surely He may answer different than we expect, but we can be sure He is answering. (Matthew 21:22, Matthew 7:11)
We must be thankful. Firstly, being thankful is proper concerning the Lord. It is right to be thankful to God and out of that thankfulness, to praise Him. (Ephesians 5:20) Thankfulness means we have given God His due credit. Having given Him due credit, we are thankful for what He does for us. Being thankful builds faith. (Colossians 2:6-7, Colossians 3:17) It reminds us that He hears and answers our prayers. As we are thankful to God, our faith is built, then we are more apt to pray because we know it is not useless but useful. We have confidence in God and come in sure faith to a sure God. Our thankfulness belongs to God, we are giving to Him what is rightfully His. Thankfulness brings the growth of our faith. That brings us to God which is the goal, and the reward is eternal.
Epaphras was always wrestling in prayer for them. (Colossians 4:12) The word used here that is translated as “wrestling” is agonizomai. It is a term that was used referring to a contest, or a struggle. Even a struggle that could be dangerous. Epaphras contended spiritually for the people in Colosse, Laodecia and Hierapolis. He did not casually and quickly offer up a prayer for those He loved, he got into a spiritual tussle and rolled in the dirt fighting and contending for those he loved. Do we do that? Isn’t it so easy to be not fully committed to contending for each other in prayer? How easy it is to casually, even callously, say a simple prayer like “Lord bless them” and then move on. Now, remembering and saying a quick prayer may be all that one is able to do at certain times. Nothing wrong about that and, depending on the circumstances, it may be absolutely what should be done. However, there should be times when we labor in prayer for each other. Labor as in child birth labor. When we are willing to go through the hard work until the blessing is delivered. It won’t be easy, it’s going to hurt, but oh how sweet the blessing!
Our earnest desire must be the full will of God for our lives. It is easier for all of us to stand firm in His will if His will is our will in all things. To one hospitality comes easy, but sharing the Word is difficult. To the one who shares the Word hospitality at home may not be easy. How do we find the will of God? We find it in His Word and through a daily walk with the Holy Spirit. Our dependence on the Holy Spirit to reveal the Word and take us deep is absolutely essential. (John 14:26) The answers aren’t dropped into us, they are picked up along a walk with God. We need to yield all that we are to His full will. Brothers and sisters, doing this may seem scary, but as we do it, and as we receive the award of it, it becomes less scary and becomes more what we look forward to doing. Seek the full will of God and receive the blessing of walking in it.
Being thankful, walking and talking with God continuously will bring us to an increasingly mature complete knowledge of God. As that is true we know God more fully. As we know God more fully, we seek to fully and obediently walk with Him. It is a self-perpetuating cycle. The more complete knowledge of Him we have, the more mature in Christ we become, the more mature we become the more we desire to repeat the cycle.
Maturity in Jesus brings trust and faith in Him. If we absolutely know the Lord, then we know His goodness and love and are assured of Him. We are assured of the salvation He has given to us. We are assured that we are now in full possession of eternal life through Jesus and we are fully assured that He will never take it back from us. Also, growing in the knowledge of God assures us, through the joys and woes of life that He is in control. We are confident that He is good and that He loves us and, because of that, our souls may rest. We know the full victory for us is just ahead. A few steps more. A step more, or maybe we will receive the full victory before our next step falls. Praise God!
So pray, be watchful and thankful unto growth in the secure knowledge of His goodness and His love for us. Talk to God and in doing so, praise Him! Remember His goodness, dwell in His love and know Him evermore. Praise God!
John 1:5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
Psalm 150:6 – Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Praise the Lord!
Micah 7:7 – But as for me, I watch in hope for the Lord, I wait for God my Savior; my God will Hear me.
Micah 6:8 – He has shown you, Oh man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.
Numbers 6:24-26 The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 The Lord make His face shine on you and be gracious to you; 26 The Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.This entry was posted in Devotion and tagged Colossians, Ephesians, John, Matthew, Micah, Numbers, Peter, Psalm by Bob with