Colossians 4:2 - Devoted to Pray with an Alert Mind and Thankful Heart.
Colossians 4:2 (NLT) Devote yourselves to
prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
How Did Brother Lawrence Do It?
Brother Lawrence committed mind and soul
to unbroken communion with God, continuously
occupied with praising, worshiping, and loving him.
How could he pull that off moment by moment in a
busy kitchen or while traveling?
He persevered in training himself to do
everything in the kitchen or on the road for the love
He prayed at every juncture for God's
grace to do the work.
He gave no thought to death or his sins
but only to doing small things for the love of
God. Great things, he said, he was unable to do.
He realized God was intimately present
within him and so he constantly asked for his help.
He was alert to recognize God's will "in
all things doubtful."
When he saw clearly what God required, he
did his very best.
He offered what he was doing to God.
After doing it, he gave God thanks.
In the monastery kitchen where he worked,
Lawrence wasn't doing anything different from other
workers, except he was constantly practicing the
Lord's presence. In other words, he was constantly
open to the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. His
alertness to the Spirit's whispers and guidance made
God his ultimate companion, no matter what
Lawrence was doing.
The more we persist in directing our
thoughts to God in our fast-paced lives, the more we
find internal peace and joy. Brother Lawrence
observes, "There is not in the world a way of life
more sweet, nor more delightful than continual
converse with God. Only those who practice and savor
it can understand it." [The One Year Book of
Encouragement by Harold Myra]
It is interesting to remark how large a
portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject
of prayer, either in furnishing examples,
enforcing precepts, or pronouncing promises. We
scarcely open the Bible before we read, Then began
men to call upon the name of the Lord; and
just as we are about to close the volume, the
Amen of an earnest supplication meets our ear.
Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling
Jacob - there a Daniel who prayed three times a
day - and a David who with all his heart called
upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in
the dungeon Paul and Silas. We have multitudes
of commands, and myriads of promises. What does
this teach us, but the sacred importance and
necessity of prayer? We may be certain that whatever
God has made prominent in his Word, he intended
to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said
much about prayer, it is because he knows we have
much need of it ... A prayerless soul is a
Christless soul. Prayer is the lisping of the believing
infant, the shout of the fighting believer, the
requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus.
It is the breath, the watchword, the comfort,
the strength, the honour of a Christian.
[Spurgeon, Charles H., Morning and Evening.]
The way of life that Paul sketched is
supernatural. Thus Paul emphasized the role of prayer. We
are to depend on the Lord ourselves, and
encourage others to focus their lives on God. [Victor
We must pray always if we would grow in
faith and experience. We are to be "instant in
prayer," to "continue in prayer, and watch in the
same with thanksgiving." Unceasing prayer is
the unbroken union of the soul with God, SC97-8
Many have not a living faith. This is why
they do not see more of the power of God. Their
weakness is the result of their unbelief. They have
more faith in their own working than in the
working of God for them. They take themselves into
their own keeping. They plan and devise, but pray
little, and have little real trust in God. They
think they have faith, but it is only the impulse
of the moment. Failing to realize their own
need, or God's willingness to give, they do not
persevere in keeping their requests before the Lord.
We cannot spend all our time on our knees,
but it is possible to have a prayerful attitude
at all times. This attitude is built upon
acknowledging our dependence on God, realizing his
presence within us, and determining to obey him
fully. Then we will find it natural to pray
frequent, spontaneous, short prayers. A prayerful
attitude is not a substitute for regular times of
prayer but should be an outgrowth of those times.
[Life Application SB]
To persist in prayer and not give up does
not mean endless repetition or painfully long
prayer sessions. Always praying means keeping our
requests constantly before God as we live for him day
by day, believing he will answer. When we live
by faith, we are not to give up. God may delay
answering, but his delays always have good reasons. As
we persist in prayer we grow in character,
faith, and hope. [Life Application SB]
Have you ever grown tired of praying for
something or someone? Paul says we should be devoted
and alert in prayer. Our vigilance is an
expression of our faith that God answers our prayers.
Faith shouldn't die if the answers come slowly,
for the delay may be God's way of working his
will in our lives. When you feel tired of
praying, know that God is present, always listening,
always answering -- maybe not in ways you had
hoped, but in ways that he knows are best. (The
Life Application Commentary)
When I was in my early twenties, a friend
at work asked to borrow ten dollars. She said
she'd repay it by the end of the day. A few hours
before the conclusion of the workday, she'd made no
mention of the loan. Ten dollars might sound like
too minor an issue to worry if it was ever
repaid, but this was during a time when my husband
and I - newlyweds - had to think hard before
purchasing a pack of gum.
I reminded her. Then I reminded her again
an hour later. The third time I mentioned it,
her face darkened. "I told you I'd pay it back
before the day's over. And I will."
My pestering showed lack of trust in her
word. And it revealed my regret that I hadn't been
in a financial position to lend to anyone if my
heart wasn't prepared to risk not getting it back.
She made a point of returning the ten dollars
before we clocked out for the day. But my
impatience had driven a small wedge in our work
relationship, one that never fully disappeared.
When does prayer become pestering? When
does our repeating a familiar request show lack
of trust in Jesus? The answer is less about
timing than it is attitude. The Bible records
instances when our persistence in prayer is applauded,
and other times when we're reminded that He
knows what we need before we even ask.
Where does that leave us? In need of a
heart check Does my pleading reveal an honorable
persistence? Or does it show a lack of faith in Jesus -
the ever faithful One? by Cynthia Ruchti
Faith Step: Note the second half of
Colossians 4:2 - " and guard your prayers with
thanksgiving." Memorize this as a reminder that our
gratitude for answers on their way guards our prayers
from turning into nagging. [Mornings With Jesus
2018 Devotional by Guideposts and Zondervan]
My thoughts are not your thoughts;
neither are your ways My ways. As the heavens are
higher than the earth, so are My ways and thoughts
higher than yours. Remember who I AM when you spend
time with Me. Marvel at the wonder of being able
to commune with the King of the universe - any
time, any place. Never take this amazing privilege
Though I am vastly higher and greater
than you, I am training you to think My thoughts.
As you spend time in My Presence, My thoughts
gradually form in your mind. My Spirit is the Director
of this process. Sometimes He brings Bible
verses to mind. Sometimes He enables you to hear Me
"speak" directly to you. These communications
strengthen you and prepare you for whatever is before
you on your life-path. Take time to listen to My
voice. Through your sacrifice of precious time, I
bless you far more than you dare to ask. (Isa.
55:8, 9; Col. 4:2; Psa. 116:17) [Jesus Calling by
Trust Me by relinquishing control into My
hands. Let go, and recognize that I am God. This is
My world: I made it and I control it. Yours is
a responsive part in the litany of Love. I
search among My children for receptivity to Me.
Guard well this gift that I have planted in your
heart. Nurture it with the Light of My Presence.
When you bring Me prayer requests, lay
out your concerns before Me. Speak to Me
candidly; pour out your heart. Then thank Me for the
answers that I have set into motion long before you
can discern results. When your requests come to
mind again, continue to thank Me for the answers
that are on the way. If you keep on stating your
concerns to Me, you will live in a state of tension.
When you thank Me for how I am answering your
prayers, your mind-set becomes much more positive.
Thankful prayers keep your focus on My Presence and
My promises. (Psa. 46:10; Col. 4:2; 2 Pet.
1:3-4) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Rest in My presence, allowing Me to take
charge of this day. Do not bolt into the day like a
racehorse suddenly released. Instead, walk
purposefully with Me, letting Me direct your course one
step at a time. Thank Me for each blessing along
the way; this brings Joy to both you and Me. A
grateful heart protects you from negative thinking.
Thankfulness enables you to see the abundance I shower
upon you daily. Your prayers and petitions are
winged into heaven's throne room when they are
permeated with thanksgiving. In everything give
thanks, for this is My will for you. (Col. 4:2; 1Th.
5:18) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
Hold My hand and walk joyously with Me
through this day. Together we will savor the
pleasures and endure the difficulties it brings. Be on
the lookout for everything I have prepared for
you: stunning scenery, bracing winds of
adventure, cozy nooks for resting when you are weary;
and much more. I am your Guide, as well as your
constant Companion. I know every step of the journey
ahead of you, all the way to heaven.
You don't have to choose between staying
close to Me and staying on course. Since I am the
Way, staying close to Me is staying on course. As
you focus your thoughts on Me. I will guide you
carefully along today's journey. Don't worry about
what is around the next bend. Just concentrate on
enjoying My Presence and staying in step with Me.
(John 14:6; Col. 4:2) [Jesus Calling by Sarah
When the task before you looks daunting,
refuse to be intimidated. Discipline your thinking
to view the challenge as a privilege rather
than a burdensome duty. Make the effort to
replace your "I have to" mentality with an "I get
to" approach. This will make all the difference
in your perspective - transforming drudgery
into delight. This is not a magic trick; the work
still has to be done. But the change in your
viewpoint can help you face the challenging chore
joyfully and confidently.
As you go about your work, perseverance
is essential. If you start to grow weary or
discouraged, remind yourself: "I get to do this!" Then
thank Me for giving you the ability and strength
to do what needs to be done. Thankfulness
clears your mind and draws you close to Me.
Remember that My Spirit who lives in you is the
Helper; ask Him to help you when you're perplexed.
As you ponder problems and seek solutions, He
will guide your mind. Whatever you do, work at it
with all your heart - as working for Me. (Col.
4:2; Joh. 14:16; Col. 3:23) [Jesus Always by
Every time something thwarts your plans
or desires, use that as a reminder to
communicate with Me. This practice has several benefits.
The first is obvious: Talking with Me blesses
you and strengthens our relationship. Another
benefit is that disappointments, instead of dragging
you down, are transformed into opportunities for
good. This transformation removes the sting from
difficult circumstances, making it possible to be
joyful in the midst of adversity.
Begin by practicing this discipline in
all the little disappointments of daily life. It
is often these minor setbacks that draw you
away from My Presence. When you reframe setbacks
as opportunities, you find that you gain much
more than you have lost. It is only after much
training that you can accept major losses in this
positive way. But it is possible to attain the
perspective of the apostle Paul, who wrote: Compared to
the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ
Jesus, I consider everything I once treasured to be
as insignificant as rubbish. (Col. 4:2; Phi.
3:7, 8) [Jesus Calling by Sarah Young]
EXCELLENT VIDEO SERIES ON 28 REVELATIONS OF
1st of 28: Divine Dining:
2nd of 28: Pictures of the Divine:
3rd of 28: A Dirty Bible:
4th of 28: Cared For:
5th of 28: Saved:
6th of 28: You Can Change:
7th of 28: Reprogramming Our Brains:
8th of 28 Our Holy Father:
9th of 28 Gifts of Service:
10th of 28 The Holy Spirit:
11th of 28 The Law of God:
12th of 28 The Sabbath:
13th of 28 The Church:
14th of 28 The Gift of Prophecy:
Live ongoing series in progress.
If anyone has a paraphrase, commentary or
testimony on this passage of Scripture, either
personal or otherwise, I would be interested in
hearing from you. Thanks in advance and let's keep
uplifting Jesus that all might be drawn to Him. Fred