May 26, 2023

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2

The Apostle Paul concludes his letter to the Colossians with a brief but significant request. He could have asked the young Christians to do many things. Paul asks that they “Devote” themselves to prayer.

This request from Paul reflects his personal dependence on God. As we read through Paul’s writings, we see that he has grown in his faith to the point that he has a deep dependence on God. Even as Paul writes from prison, we see that the hardship he has endured has only served to teach him that prayer is a great gift to the people of faith. Prayer allows us the privilege to go before God and to connect with the One who gives “every good and perfect gift from above.” (James 1:17)

Paul would write about his dependence on God and prayer in his letter to the Philippians. Paul’s success and his struggles have opened the door to a deeper life of faith. Paul writes, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:12-13) In the good times and in the challenging times, it is prayer that connects Paul to God and gives him this assurance.

Prayer is an essential part of our lives. It is an intentional practice when we focus our thoughts on the One who loves us. Prayer allows us to focus on the hope of heaven, the joy of knowing Christ, and the strength that comes from the eternal presence of God. We often find ourselves in difficult situations. There are moments in our lives that seem overwhelming as we focus on the things that seem to not be going our way. When we pause to pray, we connect ourselves with the one who is greater than all the troubles we can possibly face. The Apostle Paul and the early Christians teach us an important lesson. We should devote ourselves to prayer.  As we pray, we grow in our devotion and trust of a God who cares for his people. When we pray, we find the strength to go forward.

– Rev. Keith King, Pastor of Worship