Colossians 4:2-4 says this,
“2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 3 At the same time, 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— 4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.”
In this brief passage, the apostle Paul packs so much teaching about prayer. Paul gives three important truths about prayer in these verses:
- How we should make prayer a habit.
- To whom we should pray.
- For what we should pray.
First, we need to be vigilant and determined to make prayer a faithful habit of our lives. Charles Spurgeon comments in his “Morning and Evening” devotional for January 2nd (Morning):
“It is interesting to note how large a portion of the Bible is occupied with the subject of prayer, in either furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises.”
We can see the zealous habits of prayer in the faithful people of God throughout Scripture, from Jacob wrestling with the angel and pleading for God’s blessing (Genesis 32:22-32), to Daniel who prayed three times a day (Daniel 6:10), to David who called on the LORD with all his heart (Psalm 34:17,18), to Paul and Silas in prison praying to the LORD (Acts 16:25).
What do these examples of God’s people teach us, but of the absolute necessity to seek God in prayer.
Second, Scripture teaches us clearly to whom we should pray. We pray to God the Almighty and most merciful Father through Jesus Christ, His only Son and our Lord. Notice in Colossians 4:3 that Paul asks the believers in Colossae to pray to God for us. It is clear that Paul knows to whom we should pray, to our God, the only One who can answer prayer.
Third, this passage shows us for what we should be praying. We pray that God in His mercy would act on our behalf according to His will, and we give thanks for God’s mercy already present in our lives. The apostle Paul prays to the LORD that He would open opportunities for ministry where he is at that time, to speak to prisoners about trusting in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. We should not only make prayers of supplication unto the LORD, but as the apostle Paul tells us in Colossians 4:2 and in 1 Timothy 2:1, we are to pray to the Lord with thanksgiving. It is a godly exercise of our minds to reflect on and give thanks to God for His blessings to us. We are to recount how God has provided for us in meeting both our spiritual and physical needs. Charles Spurgeon concludes his devotion for January 2nd with this exhortation,
“Pray that this year you may be holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ, and enter more often into the banquet-house of His love. Pray that you may be an example and a blessing to others, and that you may live to the glory of your Master. The motto for this year must be, ‘Continue… in prayer.’”