Observations from today’s readings and today’s S-WOD, Tuesday, 6 July 21:
Colossians 4:2 – “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
How is your prayer life? Today’s readings tell us to continue “steadfastly” in prayer, from the Greek word proskartereō, which means to powerfully persevere with continuous diligence and courage, never growing faint or quitting. This is not casual prayer but rather deeply earnest, fervent prayer, a relentless struggle in prayer as described in Colossians 4:12. The prayer described here is persistent and enduring – “Pray without ceasing.” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) Are you praying continuously, earnestly, and fervently?
Today’s readings tell us that when we pray, we should “be watchful” in our prayers. Anticipate God’s answer to your prayer, and pay attention. God may (likely) answer your prayer in ways you never anticipated. The Bible also tells us to pray with thanksgiving. This involves trusting God with all your circumstances and genuinely believing that He will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. Thanksgiving also involves trusting that God’s “No” response to some of your prayers is far better than the “Yes” for which you had hoped. Are your prayers full of thanksgiving?
“Pray also for us….” (Colossians 4:3) Finally, if you do a word search in the Bible on “pray,” you will find the vast majority of verses on prayer involve praying for someone else and for the advancement of the Kingdom, rather than on personal wants, desires, and concerns. Also, most praying is done in fellowship with other believers. Isn’t this the example Jesus gave us in the Lord’s prayer? ‘Our Father, (not My Father)…. Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven…. Just give me what I really need today and nothing more (daily bread), and help me forgive others and abstain from sin.’ Today’s readings give an example of group prayer for others and for the advancement of the Gospel – “Pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak…. always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.” (Colossians 4:3, 4, 12) Notice that, surprisingly, Paul didn’t ask his fellow believers to pray for his release from prison. His prayers were not self-centered by rather Christ-centered. For what and for whom are you praying earnestly, fervently and thankfully, and why?
“Cross” Fit S-WOD (Spiritual Workout of the Day) – 6 July 21: Today, examine your prayer life, and “continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Focus your prayers on the advancement of the Gospel and the needs of others.