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Continue In Prayer

Colossians 4:2 (ESV) – Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

After the resurrection of Jesus, the apostles took the message of the gospel out to the world. Jesus’ ministry covered all of Israel, particularly the region of Galilee. His appearance to the disciples, and others for 40 days, gave way to His ascension back to Heaven. He commissioned them to go into the world, even to the Gentiles, to share the good news. The good news, of course, was that through faith in Jesus, sinners could be reconciled with a holy God. Sins forgiven. Eternal life secured. 

Our passage today shows the outworking of the apostles’ obedience to this command to “go.” The gospel spread throughout the Gentile world. After they preached the gospel and people came to faith, they formed churches. These gatherings of new followers of Jesus centered on worshiping the Triune God and reorienting their lives on obeying Him. The apostles, like Paul and others, commissioned leaders to oversee the churches. They wrote letters to continue teaching them how to walk in the faith. We see this in our passage today with Paul’s letter to the Colossian believers. He instructs them, “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” 

This instruction to continue steadfastly in prayer has many implications. First, we are called to pray. Through faith in Jesus we have access to the Father. Because our sins are no more, we can approach the throne of grace with confidence. We’re accepted. Second, Paul tells them to continue steadfastly, which implies that there could be seasons where it is difficult to pray. The exhortation to continue steadfastly, or without wavering, shows how trials could dampen our resolve. 

Paul then tells them to be watchful in prayer with thanksgiving. The posture and disposition of the believer should always be thanksgiving. We’ve been given everything. We deserved judgment and damnation, but in Christ we have grace and forgiveness. How could we be anything but thankful? This disposition of thankfulness postures us to remain in prayerful fellowship with God. We share our needs. We express our gratitude for His kindness and goodness to us. We ask for His help. These things demonstrate watchfulness in prayer by showing dependence with thanksgiving. 

Life always has challenges. We all face trials and tribulations of different kinds. These can test our faith and force us to go deeper in our trust of God. This is why Paul teaches believers to continue steadfastly in prayer. If you haven’t, or struggle to, let this be an encouragement to begin anew. Recommit yourself each day to grow in your resolve to pray. 

Maintain a posture of thanksgiving in prayer, recognizing God's abundant grace and seeking His help. Challenges in life can can test our faith and force us into a deeper trust in God. Let this push you to a resolve of steadfastness in prayer!

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Reflection & Journal: 
- Why is prayer hard?
- What have you found helps you to continue in prayer?
- How does today’s devotional help you consider improving your prayer life?

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