An Encouragement for Prayer
Posted: Thursday, October 8
Verse of the day:
Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2)
Here, the apostle Paul has two things to say about prayer. The first is: "Keep at it" -- "continue steadfastly in prayer." The reason, obviously, is that prayer is essential to our Christian life. Prayer is dependence on God, and if you don't pray, then you are not expressing your dependence on him. Though it may seem so at first glance, Paul doesn't mean, "Now, set aside a certain part of your day for prayer; set a schedule, and be sure to keep it." I am not minimizing that practice; we should all do it, and it is an excellent practice, but that is not what he is really saying.
What I believe Paul means is to be ready at all times. That is, always be ready to pray, because prayer is such a vital link to God—and He is available to us continually. And in every circumstance of life you need to pray. That is what Paul is saying; be ready to break into prayer—in your thought life—instantaneously—at all times, because that is the way we ought to live.
We are to be ready for prayer, so that you won't need an introduction when some great need overtakes you and you realize you need God. "Keep at it," Paul says, "and keep wide awake while you are keeping at it"—“Be watchful." That is, don’t go to sleep. Be alert for opportunities to pray. Remember what Jesus said to Peter in the Garden of Gethsemane? "Watch, and pray that you enter not into temptation" (Matthew 26:41). That was a clear implication that if Peter had observed the command to watch and pray in that hour, he would not have denied Jesus when confronted. Prayer is a way of drawing on God's strength to meet the pressures which are pressing upon you, and when temptation tries to draw us away from the Lord.