May 11, 2022
Prayer is not limited to a task we complete, but prayer is a continual practice that marks our lives.
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. 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—that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
1 Masters, treat your bondservants 1 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for servant in verse 12 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
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.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. 6 Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant 2 4:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface in the Lord. 8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 9 and with him Onesimus, our faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you, and Mark the cousin of Barnabas (concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him), 11 and Jesus who is called Justus. These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me. 12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, greets you, always struggling on your behalf in his prayers, that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God. 13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis. 14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas. 15 Give my greetings to the brothers 3 4:15 Or brothers and sisters at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house. 16 And when this letter has been read among you, have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea. 17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand. Remember my chains. Grace be with you.
We are to be unwavering and steady in our prayers. No matter what situations we face in life, good or bad, prayer is to remain constant. Prayer, the act of communicating with God, is not just something that we do, but it is "the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) Take heart in the fact that the Creator of the universe who loves you dearly desires that you pray. Even the Son of God, Jesus Christ, went out by Himself to spend time talking with God the Father (Mark 1:35).
While prayer for ourselves is important and necessary, we are called to pray for others (James 5:16). Even more specifically, we are called to pray for the advancement of the good news of Jesus Christ. The majority of this chapter, verses 7-18, is evidence of what can be seen as the fruit of Paul living out this life of prayer. Even while he is imprisoned, he is surrounded by fellow believers and friends who are continuing Jesus' instruction to share the gospel with all people (Matthew 28:19-20; Acts 1:8).
We have the opportunity to play a role in the advancement of the gospel. While this is rooted in prayer, there is also action that we can take part in as God leads us. There are many opportunities and people that we come across, but we must ask God for the wisdom of how to act and what steps to take (James 1:5; Proverbs 16:9). When we interact with others we are to take a posture of humility and remember that we are representatives of God (2 Corinthians 5:20), and our conduct should be marked with truth and love.
God has offered us the ultimate gift of salvation—the opportunity for our relationship with Him to be made right in the present and for eternity. As we pray, we can ask God for opportunities to share that truth and for the ability to discern what to say in the midst of those opportunities.
1. What does your time in prayer look like?
2. What impact can Paul's practice of prayer have on the way you pray?
3. Who is on the list of people that, like Paul, you continue advancing the gospel alongside?