Key Verse | Colossians 4:2-4

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.

Scripture | Colossians 4


Masters, treat your bondservants 1 justly and fairly, knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.

Further Instructions

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.

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Final Greetings

Tychicus will tell you all about my activities. He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant 2 in the Lord. I have sent him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are and that he may encourage your hearts, 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 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.

Footnotes

[1] 4:1 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word doulos, see Preface; likewise for servant in verse 12
[2] 4:7 For the contextual rendering of the Greek word sundoulos, see Preface
[3] 4:15 Or brothers and sisters

Practice of Prayer



Devo | Colossians 4

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...

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.

Discussion Questions

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?

Meet Spenser Meredith

Hey y'all, my name is Spenser. Texan born and raised. Texas A&M Aggie. Serving in On Your Mark—the second and third grade kids ministry. Ever growing in my dependence on God. By the time you are reading this, I will have married my amazing wife Catherine! Thankful for this opportunity to study God's Word with you today.

7 Comments available

Hugh Stephenson 13 days ago

GM Spenser! Thanks for your service in On Your Mark. One of the great joys for a 64-year-old is to see young people loving on kids. What a blessing to have a church filled with both!

Q1. Post-salvation, (2014), my prayer life started out dry and rote…which is about my box-checking life pre-2014.

Digging in to JTJ on 2015, (when we read the Bible cover-to-cover), I began to see that this was a major area the Lord was working on in me.

I took note of Abraham’s intercessory prayer for Lot, (Genesis 18:16-33). Was he praying for Lot and Sodom or negotiating with God? This passage also edified my understanding of God’s sovereignty.

On JTJ, a friend urged me to read Keller’s book “PRAYER”.

Wow.

In forming a Life Mission Statement in Prodigal, I learned to pray the mission statement and the linked verses.

Hugh Stephenson 13 days ago

That’s when I started to see God was answering my prayers.

Wow, again.

Q2. Wiersbe notes, (paraphrasing), that if Paul needed and asked for prayers for support of his life and ministry then how much more do I?

Q3. I’m blessed and proud to serve, directly/indirectly, with 40+ leaders in Prodigal, many dozens leading Summit groups, and soon to be 2-3 dozen in new shepherding/mentoring ministries for young men.

Colossians 4:2 jumped out at me as this is an ED verse.

I note these elements of 4:2-4

“Continue” – “Hey Hugh, remember that prayer is “constant”. Wiersbe notes that it does not literally mean “without ceasing”. Got Qs suggests that it’s a “first response”. (Yes, Hugh. You can be a “First Responder”. But you don’t get a hat. You have enough of those.)

https://www.gotquestions.org/pray-without-ceasing.html

https://www.gotquestions.org/search.php?zoom_sort=0&zoom_query=pray+without+ceasing+

“This is like breathing: inhale by prayer, exhale by thanksgiving.” (Constable cites McGee.).

Hugh Stephenson 13 days ago

“Steadfast” – Be faithful. Don’t quit. An answer delayed is not a prayer denied. Often the “waiting period” is when the Holy Spirit works best on my heart. I scan slip into transaction mode; “I prayed, where’s my answer.”

“Watchful” – I am at risk of rote prayers. Wiersbe links to Nehemiah rebuilding the walls after the return, “Nevertheless we made our prayer unto our God, and set a watch against them [the enemy] day and night” (Neh. 4:9).

A vigilant watch against the enemy resonates as God conveys quite clearly Satan’s intent, (1 Peter 5:8).

“Thanksgiving” – Few practices have changed my heart more than thanksgiving/gratitude, (Philippians 4:6-7). A friend notes how many people she knows for whom simple gratitude prayers have changed their lives

A recent message encouraged us to consider a prayer that does not contain “I”. What a great idea!

Jermaine Harrison 12 days ago

Thanks for the great reminders Spenser! I love what is said about Paul’s co-laborer Epaphras in vs 12: “Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured.”

What a gift if that is what was said of all of us. That we wrestle in prayer for others to know God, walk with God and mature daily!

Sue Bohlin 12 days ago

Thanks, Spenser, both for your devo and for serving in OYM. Super important kingdom work you’re doing there!

Once again, Paul links prayer with thanksgiving, this time in v. 2. On this year’s JTJ walk through the NT, I have been struck by how often Paul includes giving thanks in his instructions. You’d think it was important or something!

God impressed on me the importance of giving thanks as a way of life from my earliest days as a Christ-follower. Over the decades, I have come to see that it functions like a meat marinade in making and keeping my heart tender and juicy (ha! --but true), focusing on the Lord instead of myself or my feelings. The habit of thanksgiving keeps bitterness from taking root, and it’s excellent for anti-entitlement (one of my ditches) as well.

Mark Brown 11 days ago

Excellent Devo today. This is core to our walk with Christ. A belated congratulations to you and for your new wife in Christ.

Michael Scaman 11 days ago

“Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.”

As is the case with food you don’t dump the whole saltshaker on a meal. You need to treat each person appropriately.

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