Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving; meanwhile praying also for us, that God would open to us a door for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in chains that I may make it manifest, as I ought to speak.
Context: Paul is being imprisoned by false teachings, and he is writing to the Colossian church asking them to pray for him.
Q. What does it mean to be ‘earnest’?
To take things seriously, being sober and sincere, not taking things as a joke, focused, having intense conviction.
Q. Why is it important to be earnest when we pray?
It’s easy to be distracted while praying, so if we don’t keep focused there will always be a competing priority.
Prayer is powerful, and it’s important to take it seriously because when we pray we are speaking words. The Bible says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue” (Proverbs 18:21) therefore our mouths can speak blessings and our mouths can speak curses.
Furthermore, prayer can transform situations. You can pray and receive healing, deliverance and salvation.
Tip: Switch off your phone while praying. Let there be no distractions, so you can really focus on speaking to God and hearing from Him.
Why prayer is important: Read Matthew 17:18-21
And Jesus rebuked the demon, and it came out of him; and the child was cured from that very hour. Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”
Watching out for danger, being alert, being attentive will answer our prayers - because He will when the time is right.
Q. What does ‘vigilant’ mean?
Prayer moves mountains, we need to have faith in God that He
Q. Why do we need to be vigilant?
The enemy will use distractions to pull you away from prayer and intimacy with God.
When we pray, and we don’t get our answer straight away, we may feel discouraged. So we need to be vigilant, so we can see when the enemy is trying to distract us and discourage us, feeding us lies like “why should I even bother praying? God isn’t listening”.
Prayer is a weapon and we can use it to combat danger.
Q. Why is thanksgiving important in relation to prayer and feelings of discouragement.
We need to be thankful to God when we pray, even if we haven’t received what we have prayed for yet. Just like a farmer plants seeds for his crops to grow. Even when the crops haven’t sprouted, he is thankful for what he is about to receive, in due time.
There are also seasons in your life when you pray and pray and pray and pray, and its like God has gone deaf. But our walk with God is a daily walk. Jesus said, “give us this day our daily bread” (Matthew 6:11) – so don’t worry, God will provide all that we need every day.
Even if you’re praying for something and you haven’t received it yet, but you have peace in your heart, then you’ve already got the answer to your prayer. The peace tells you that God is working, even if can’t see what you have prayed for.
Q. What does “open to us a door for the word” mean?
Paul is asking for an opportunity for God to give him to speak the word and share the gospel to the people.
As being born-again Christians, there are always opportunities for us to win souls, within our communities.
Q. What is the mystery of Christ?
His amazing grace, His knowledge, the gospel, good news, salvation. Even if we don’t know the word, we know our testimony of what God has done in our lives, and that alone will win souls.