Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Colossians 4:2 Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

At times I have wondered if my prayers had any real value. I’ve continued praying because the Lord has told us too but I have sometimes wondered. As I read this verse, the urging to pray I stopped to consider it. I asked the Lord to open my spirit to his word and this verse stuck out like a shining light.

So, here are the thoughts that came to me. Not deeply profound, but they struck a deep resonating chord inside me.

Prayer is speaking to God. Talking to Him about what is in our heart.

Steadfastly: by dictionary definition is to continue firmly, with resolution, to be staunch.

Being watchful in it: By dictionary definition: Alert, vigilant, steadily attentive.

Give thanks - not just a general ‘I’m thankful,’ but calling to mind specific things in my life, and making a specific statement of thanks.

And, as I pray, I need to keep alert to, be watchful of my own thought and attitudes. To allow God’s viewpoint to emerge.

Things to watch for would be that the prayer not become a complaint session, or telling God how HE should proceed. And, I need to take note of the answers I am expecting God to give me. Those expectations may shut my ears to His actual answer.

Some answers I can pray for with assurance because they line up with God’s own stated purposes - as in praying for salvation for someone, or growth in the Christian walk of another, or that a believer may grow in the Lord.

But, I can also pray for my hearts cares and concerns, even my hearts desires, but I must keep my spirit open to hear God’s words to me - what He desires of me, things I must deal with, attitudes I must change. Listening as well as talking.

Prayer is truly a two way street. Even in my own fumbling and doubts I have found in acting upon the thought that comes to me while praying, when it is clearly not my thought, how obedience has brought me peace.

Case in point. In a rant to God that everything was annoying me and wouldn’t God just step in and change it or better, get me out of it, the thought came that this was an attack from Satan, and my only recourse in it was to give praise and thanksgiving to the LORD. With that praise and thanksgiving I was immediately released from my anger and given peace.

God desires us to be in conversation with Him. It is a gift to us from Him. He really cares about us and wants to communicate.

The open portal directly into His presence was closed by Adam and Eve when they chose their own way. But, in my own life I also close the door to His presence by choosing my own way. Only in prayer do I begin to tune into His presence.

I need to “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

Thank you Father

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