“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." - Colossians 4:2
The apostle Paul's encouragement to the church at Colossae was to continue in that which they had already learned and practiced: prayer. We can learn a lot about prayer from many places in Scripture: the why, the what, the how, the when, and the where. Paul's point in this verse is this: continue steadfastly in it. Keep praying, maintain a practice of prayer without interruption. Let the place of prayer remain firmly fixed in your life. If all else changes in your life, let prayer be one of those things that doesn't change. He says to "be watchful in it with thanksgiving." By this he means, don't get sleepy when it comes to prayer. Don't take a break from prayer. And when you pray, do so with an attitude of gratitude. Pray with a heart full of appreciation to the Lord for who he is and all he's done for you.
So often in the Christian life, prayer takes a backseat to other more apparently pressing issues. We have to get our kids ready for school, we have to go grocery shopping, or we have to do laundry. Prayer gets pushed further and further down the list of things to do until we never get around to doing it. Paul is saying that we should make this practice a priority in our lives. Organize your life around prayer, not the other way around. Maybe start your day in prayer, even if that means waking up earlier than the rest of the family. Find a favorite chair to pray in. Look for a favorite coffee shop to pray at. If you struggle to pray spontaneously, try a prayer book like "The Valley of Vision", or "The Book of Common Prayer" or "A Diary of Private Prayer." Join one of our Prayer Groups where you can learn to pray with and for others. Get creative about the how and where of prayer but whatever you do: pray. It's as we pray that the Holy Spirit sanctifies us, transforming us into the image and likeness of our Savior Jesus Christ. Prioritize persistent prayer. You'll be glad you did.