Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving; ~Colossians 4:2
The Apostle Paul made an emphasis five times on thankfulness in the epistle to the Colossians. In Colossians 1:3, he gave thanks to God for the church, praying always for them. In Colossians 1:12, he encouraged the church to give thanks to God for being partakers of the inheritance with the saints in the light. In Colossians 2:7, he encouraged the church to abound with thanksgiving. In Colossians 3:17, he encouraged that we do all things, whether in word or deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him. Then, in Colossians 4:2, he exhorts us about prayer and thanksgiving. He said, “Watch in the same.”
We see the disciplines.
He exhorts us about prayer and thanksgiving. Both are virtues and disciplines. It is expected that a Christian prays and gives thanks. Prayer is private time that we set aside to beseech God on behalf of others and for ourselves. It is when we acknowledge God in His greatness and holiness and, in Jesus' name, ask God in faith to do things that will give Him glory. Thanksgiving is expressing our appreciation and gratefulness to God for everything. It is God’s will that we give thanks in everything. We are to give thanks always for all things. Thanksgiving from a grateful heart is the outflow of God’s grace at work in us.
We see the directive.
We are commanded to continue in prayer and thanksgiving. The word “continue” means to be steadfast and resolute. Regardless of how busy we may be, how challenging it may be, or how weary we may be, we must continue steadfast in prayer and thanksgiving. Discouragement, distractions, and disappointments can easily sidetrack us from praying and thanksgiving. Busyness can sidetrack us. We must resolve that we will faithfully undertake the ministry of prayer and thanksgiving.
We see the devotion.
Paul said, “Watch in the same with thanksgiving.” He is telling us that we must vigilantly give as much emphasis to thanksgiving as we give to prayer. Our thanksgiving should balance out with our praying. I encourage all Christians to develop a praise list that is equal to their prayer list. Being vigilant in thanksgiving keeps our spirit and perspective on things right and pleasing to God. Watching in the same with thanksgiving helps us to guard against developing a bad spirit or wrong expectations.
We see the dividends.
By being steadfast in both prayer and thanksgiving, we reap many benefits. First, we are pleasing to God. Second, we learn to wait on the Lord more patiently. Third, we learn that all of God’s answers to our praying are according to His timeline for us. Accordingly, we are thankful for the answers that are now and the answers that will be later. Being vigilant about our thanksgiving safeguards us from bitterness and a complaining spirit.
"Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving." Don’t practice one without the other. Don’t neglect the importance of being thankful for all things all the time.
Have a prayer-and-thanksgiving God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Romans 8-10