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Read This Week: Colossians 4

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. – Colossian 4:2-6 NIV

It’s ironic that in Matthew 21:13, Jesus said, “My house will be called a house of prayer,” as he was defending the purity of worship, yet, prayer is often the last thing we do as followers of Jesus. It’s not always as cool as music nor is it considered as captivating as public speaking, but it is supposed to be a center point of a believer’s life.

Prayer is the most important conversation we can have because we are conversing with the God of the universe. Nothing is more sacred or meaningful than talking to God and if we do it out of a desire to pursue Him, it can actively transform and reshape our lives and communities.

In concluding his letter to the Colossians, Paul wanted to remind the people to be devoted to prayer. But he didn’t want them to form a religious habit out of it. He wanted them to increase their spiritual attention and build a close, personal relationship with Jesus. Intimacy with God is the essence of prayer. Our desire toward seeking him should not be filled with selfish ambition, religious strategy, and conceit. We should talk to God simply because He is worthy, and as we pursue Him, we become more attentive to His heart and perfect will for us. We develop insight and spiritual awareness that leads to a deeper, richer and more meaningful life.

Colossians 4 says that prayer makes us watchful and thankful. It not only increases our spiritual attention but causes us to value God more than what we want from Him. As we devote ourselves to pray, we become a lot more interested in the person of God rather than the perks of prayer. Our hearts grow in thankfulness for who He is, who we are and what He has done for us. A daily conversation with God empowers us to enjoy and value the relationship we are able to have with our Creator.

When we value and enjoy God, we will have an ignited heart for his message. Paul writes, “Pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, clearly, as I should.” As we consistently petition God, there is a swelling passion for the Gospel and its power to save, heal and transform. Friends, neighbors, family members, and people groups are being lifted up out of a desire to see the transforming message of Christ spoken, preached and lived out.

Lastly, Colossians 4 teaches us that as we pray, we are building a community with others. There is a deepening both vertically and horizontally. As people are growing closer to God, they are inevitably growing closer to each other. Prayer empowers our relationships to be more authentic and our conversation to be always full of grace and love. The bonds of friendship and fellowship have been forged and solidified by people praying with and for one another.

11 Comments

  1. Ken on July 1, 2019 at 7:58 pm

    My wife and I just enjoyed dinner with some new friends. Our conversation was mostly about Jesus, our experiences with God and the ways of the Lord. It is so encouraging to invest our time with people who love Jesus. We hear God through them, get to know God’s ways through their life experiences and receive revelation about who Jesus is and His passionate love for us.

    I’ll submit this to you: God is saying to me and you, “You are not meant to experience life alone, I made you for community with me and our family.”

    Thank you, God, for who you are and all you do and thank you, God, for drafting me into your family!

    • Jason on July 2, 2019 at 11:57 am

      Thank you for sharing about the depth and richness of your recent experience with new friends and community with other followers of Jesus. There are few things on earth more encouraging or uplifting than feeling the love, kindness, and warmth of friends especially those in God’s family that share a kinship with us, unlike anything the world can offer.

      Paul’s words in Colossians 4:6 really hit me this week: Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Because community and Christ-centered relationships are so vital to our journey, I want my words and behavior to be more grace-filled and saturated in love toward the family of God and toward those He has put in my life. I want my community to be deep, authentic, safe and loving.

      I appreciate this reminder today.

  2. Heidi on July 2, 2019 at 6:17 pm

    Colossians 4:2-4 says, “Continue to pray. And be aware of what you should pray for. Always thank God. Also, pray for us. Ask God to give us opportunities to preach our message. We want to tell people God’s plan about Christ. I am in prison because I have already been doing this. Pray that I shall be able to preach the message of the gospel in a clear way.”

    Prayer is very important. Prayer is learning to have a conversation with God. It’s important to talk to God, not tell Him what to do because He already knows what you need before you even ask.

    You can talk to God anytime and anywhere, you don’t have to be in a certain place to talk to Him. When you (pray) talk to God, you want to make sure you’re listening so you can hear Him give you the guidance and instruction you need for whatever you’re going through. When you pray for your enemies, pray that they would respond to God for their lives. That they would want God in their life and would desire His will and His plans for them. Pray for those who love Him, that they would desire a deeper relationship with Him. That they would want to be a better servant of Christ.

    Paul was in prison because he preached the good news about Jesus, the gospel. He had people in his life that were loyal to God to spread the good news. He knew who he could trust them to minister to those who were responding to God, who wanted to know more about God to live lives for God. He knew who he could trust them to share God’s love letters, messages, instructions that would help them to grow more and more.

    So, be thankful to God for the people He puts in your life that help you grow and get better at sharing His love. People who bless you and encourage you! Thank God and thank others that reach out to you in love.

    • Jason on July 3, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      I agree that prayer is “learning to have a conversation with God.” That’s such a practical but profound way to describe prayer. If we would see it as having a conversation with God, perhaps more people would be inclined to talk to Him. When we realize that we don’t have to recite prayers or have elaborate, high-sounding things to bring to God, we can relax and just talk to Him. He wants us to do that.

      I appreciated this line: “It’s important to talk to God, not tell Him what to do because He already knows what you need before you even ask.” God doesn’t want us to give him some impressive phrases or direct Him to his own truth. He desires for us to talk to Him authentically and personally. Prayer is not simply a grocery list of what we want but should be an intentional act of conversational worship of the Creator. Prayer is worship throughout every day.

      Thank you for highlighting that point about prayer. It can be helpful to others that just don’t know where to start when it comes to talking to God.

  3. Jeri Centers on July 3, 2019 at 11:21 am

    From the Tuesday night bible study, I feel like God was saying to me to redeem the time in my life. To make the most of every opportunity with God and seize each opportunity to display wise behavior toward the unsaved. to use it as a change of witnessing.

    What that means to me is that our life on earth is short so we must make every minute count. Walking in wisdom is walking the path that God has chosen for us, doing the things that God would have us do. And the biggest thing we are to be doing is showing everyone the love of Jesus.

    • Jason on July 3, 2019 at 1:03 pm

      I really appreciate this encouraging challenge, Jeri. I needed (and we all need) to be exhorted today about making every minute count in life and doing so with wisdom to ensure I honor God. When we feel stuck or wandering in life, it is always good to return to the basics of what God calls us to be and do. To live with purpose every day and to share the love of Christ wherever we find ourselves.

      I feel like Paul was saying the same thing to the Colossians when he wrote: “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” He is saying just to take care of the little things, use wisdom, treat others with grace, and make the most out of the life God gave you.

      We seem to overthink it and make it harder to serve God than what it needs to be. Thank you for reminding us of the value and simplicity of living for God and making the most of our days.

  4. Sam Centers on July 3, 2019 at 7:37 pm

    As I have been learning through Colossians 4 this week, it is continuing to show me to express God’s love to others. As Paul and Timothy show in these letters to the Colossians that even in prison, they share the words and love of God to others.

    They don’t hide their relationship with and love for Him but share it to everyone. I think it is amazing in there most troubled times they still reach to Him and others with thanksgiving.

    • Jason on July 5, 2019 at 11:31 am

      That’s a great truth to take from this passage, Sam. Your last line: “I think it is amazing in there most troubled times they still reach to Him and others with thanksgiving,” really struck a chord with me. It is convicting and inspiring to see how the Apostles and early followers of Jesus loved and pursued God, spoke His message and lived out their faith in the face of persecution, fear, imprisonment, and societal chaos.

      Every time I am reminded of this, my problems and challenges seem small and I turn again to the love of God and my thankful responsibility to share His love and goodness with everyone in my life. Thank you for that encouragement today.

  5. Samuel Centers on July 7, 2019 at 7:40 pm

    God was speaking to me again today about Colossians chapter 4 verse 2, “Be earnest and unwavering and steadfast in your prayers being (both) alert and intent in (your praying) with thanksgiving.”

    And he was saying to me that we should always hold God in our hearts, and no matter who we are with or where we are, always speak of me with a true love of me in your heart. And always be about me and what you have in your life and not the wants and desires of this world.

    What that means to me is to always speak His love, His life, and His hope to others all day. We don’t know what our words from God will mean to them. It could give them an understanding of His love or it could just plant a simple seed in their heart. It could open them up to just start listening to Him and begin a relationship with Him.

    • Jason on July 8, 2019 at 2:51 pm

      A great reminder to be authentic and be consistent with our words and actions, Sam. We never know who it will affect. God could use a quick moment to influence someone for eternity.

  6. Kathy on July 17, 2019 at 4:13 pm

    In reading Colossians 4, this is what I heard from God. Be vigilant in your prayers, but always praying with Thanksgiving for the great things I have done in your life. Sometimes you struggle against sleep when you pray, and other times you pray as if you are asleep. Watch for answers to prayer, and thank Me when answers appear. How you speak to others. shows them how you believe. Let your speech always be with grace. I am concerned about your personal prayer life and your interaction with the world. You should be concerned also. I give Ministry to My people. Take head to your Ministry in order for it to be fulfilled. Encourage others to fulfill their Ministry.

    Wow! This was pretty loud and clear. Especially the part of praying as if I am asleep.

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