The present circumstances in which we live and serve are perilous to holy living that is acceptable to God. There are many powerful temptations and demonic doctrines that lurk around us. Only through much prayer can we keep ourselves holy for our Master’s use. Unless we are diligent in prayer, we will be overtaken by the adversary’s ploys to destroy us. Jesus said in Luke 21:36 – “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”
I am reminded at this time of Paul’s apostolic exhortation to the church in Colossae, “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). We too must take heed of this injunction to pray with earnest perseverance. Please meditate on the following exposition of this apostolic counsel, that you may give yourselves unto prayer as God’s Word requires.
The Greek word (proskarteréō) translated as “continue” has the idea of “to continue to do something with intense effort, even with the possibility of difficulties along the way, until one has brought it to the wished-for end”. Firstly, our prayers must be earnest before God. Prayer should never be perfunctory. A casual or superficial attitude in prayer is akin to being irreverent before God. An indifferent heart in prayer is tantamount to mocking God’s holy and solemn presence. Wandering hearts and sleepy prayers are not befitting the majestic presence of our gracious God. Secondly, there must be devoutness and commitment to prayer. Jesus had said that “men ought always to pray, and not to faint” (Luke 18:1). Not that we are to be always on our knees, but that the spirit of prayer should never be laid aside. We must have a prayerful spirit all the time. We must also delight in frequent prayers, whether they be short or protracted prayers. God must be frequently sought, for He alone is our help.
Scripture records many examples of men and women who frequently prayed. In this chapter, the apostle mentions his co-labourer, Epaphras, as “always labouring fervently for you in prayers” (Colossians 4:12). Such constancy in prayer has been the secret of God’s servants who are God-honouring. We must take care not to be drawn away from prayer by laziness, pleasure, business, etc.
We are also called unto watchfulness in prayer – “watch in the same”. The word rendered “watch” has the idea of “refrain from sleep”, “stay awake”, “be alert”, “be vigilant”. When physical tiredness and sleepiness prevented Peter, James and John from being awakened unto prayer, Jesus rebuked them: “What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak” (Matthew 26:40-41). Even physical fatigue is not a satisfactory excuse for failing in prayer. Christians must be awake unto the pressing matters of life and ministry, so as to bring them to God in prayer.
Whenever we pray, we must not fail to be thankful towards God. We are more prone to ask or complain than to give thanks. When we pray, we must be grateful for the blessings already granted, and for the promises He has given unto us. Beware: ungrateful men are not fit to pray!
Most of us are not called to be preachers of the Word or to be leaders of the church. But all of us are called to be mighty in intercession. Like Epaphras, who threw his arms around his home church and toiled in prayer for the brethren, we too must pray. With burden, faith and thanksgiving we must pray. Let there be godly expectation of divine blessings as we pray for ourselves and our church. All of us can pray for one another – and that we must do.
I grew up in an unbelieving family. It was in 2019 when I started questioning the purpose of life (but could not find an answer to it), that I turned to Christianity to find answers to that burning question.
I was brought to a B-P church (not Gethsemane) by a close friend; however, I did not get any answers quickly. It took me another year of a difficult “journey” of learning to find out more about the Christian faith. I started attending worship services and Youth Fellowship meetings, listening to the sermons, yet taking everything with a pinch of salt. I was not ready to understand God’s Word. I found myself constantly detached emotionally from the fellowship, only being interested to learn about Scripture superficially. It was only after some time that I started to understand the Word. It convicted me to take a firm stance against my sins and the temptations that I faced.
Yet, I still had struggles accepting the truths in the Gospel, for my old self continuously tugged me towards the things of the world. It was also then that I felt an earnest urgency to pray for the strength to overcome my temptations. It was shortly after that I accepted Christ as my Saviour. I also started to consider the stance of my church then, regarding the perfect preservation of God’s Word. It was another hurdle to understand the terminologies and implications of this important doctrine. The Spirit convicted my heart. Although it meant leaving behind the fellow brethren in my former church, I was certain that I had to find a pro-VPP church to worship in. I came across Gethsemane BPC, and started participating in the Youth Fellowship. Praise God, I was pleasantly surprised by the extent of love for God’s Word here, and the warmth of the brethren here. May God’s grace enable me to grow in Christ.