-Pastor Robbie Cheuvront
Colossians 4:2 – Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. (ESV)
In this exhortation, our brother, Paul, gives us a pretty straight forward command. Continue to pray. And then, he places a little nugget in there that I think we sometimes pass over too quickly, “… being watchful…”
What does Paul mean? Be watchful?
I think most of us don’t have a problem with the “Continue in steadfast prayer” portion of this statement. But what I do think we miss is the “be watchful” portion.
I believe what Paul is saying is this: God is sovereign. Man cannot thwart God’s plans. They were set in motion before the foundations of the world. But yet, God instructs us to pray, nevertheless. We’ve talked before that this is for our benefit, that we might grow closer to God, having our dependence on Him shown to us, during our time of prayer. That we will be grown and shaped more into the likeness of Christ, through a healthy prayer life. And this is where the “be watchful” portion of this text comes into play.
See, God is continuously working in and around our midst. We, as human beings, tend to get tunnel vision. In other words, we tend to focus on what it is that we’re doing, and the results that we expect to see. But if we would just sit back and observe, at times, I think we would “See” exactly what Paul is talking about here. We would see the hand of God at work, both in our lives, and in the lives of others around us. When Paul says, be watchful with thanksgiving, he’s not just giving us a random command. Rather, he is letting us in on a secret. Paul is saying, “Friends, do you not realize that God is always working! And if we just pay attention, we could see everything that He is doing in our midst. Oh, and by the way… this should drive us to thanksgiving! That the God who created the universe and sent His one and only Son to offer Himself as a ransom for us, is still in control over everything. And if we would draw close to Him in prayer, our hearts would be more in tune with how God is working all things for His glory. And ultimately, we would be edified by this!
When I read this earlier, I too passed over it. But after a few seconds, I felt God’s leading me back to investigate this portion of the text. I began to realize that I have missed out on quite a bit of awesomeness that God has been willing to show me, because though I spend time in prayer, I might not always do so with the idea of being observant of all God is already doing around me and through me.
Today, take the time to spend some time in prayer with your heavenly Father. And in the midst of that time, take a few moments to quietly observe all that God is doing around you, and wants to do through you. And then, as God begins to reveal the great and mighty power of His works to you, do as our brother, Paul, suggested… sit back, watch and give God thanks!
– Robbie Cheuvront