We’ve been focusing on prayer for a bit here on the blog and Colossians 4:2 contains a vital word for us:
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving . . .”
“Devote” is a tame rendering of the actual meaning in the original Greek text. The following phrases do a better job of communicating what Paul is calling for here:
Be courageously persistent!
Hold on and don’t let go!
It brings to mind the way Jacob held on and refused to let go when he encountered the Lord at Peniel (which means “face of God”) in Genesis 32.This is radical praying! Not half-hearted, groggy phrases offered in whispering tones with no real faith. No, this kind of praying is what Paul is referring to as he gives instructions for spiritual warfare:
“With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints” (Ephesians 6:18).
Courageous praying is done with a conscious awareness of Who we are speaking to. It is praying that believes there really is a God who hears and answers prayer according to His good pleasure. It is prayer that seeks His glory supremely, above every other human desire.
This type of praying isn’t satisfied to drift into idle thoughts or inattention, but is alert and intense. The woman who is careful to practice this discipline will be watchful and sensitive to what is taking place around her. She’ll pause to pray with a friend in need, whether in a public place, on the phone, or on a crowded street. She will also be careful to listen to the Holy Spirit’s promptings to pray. Throughout the day and night, she’ll always be ready to respond to His call to prayer.
The attitude of thanksgiving frames this type of praying. There is no place for a sense of entitlement or a demanding spirit. Gratitude is the fountain from which each request flows, since every good and perfect gift comes from the Father.
Take Time to Reflect
Drop to your knees, if you are physically able, and ask God to give you a greater level of intensity and focus in your praying. Ask His Holy Spirit to fill your mind with the needs of those around you and to give you an awareness of how you should be interceding. Be sure to express your gratitude to the Lord. Use Scriptures from this post (click here) as an outline in praying for others; insert personal names in appropriate places.
Adapted from my post on the True Woman blog 09.26.08