“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” – Colossians 4:2
Part of being a Christian is to always devote ourselves into prayer. Most of the time we have a wrong mindset of prayer. We think that we pray three times a day before every meal is enough. We think that praying should have a limit and we even often joke that we might go past heaven if we always pray. The ridiculous part of being a human being is when we think that through prayers, we can go to heaven and that God owes us something because we chose to pray to Him and give Him praise. How unhealthy and toxic is that mindset.
In our verse today, Paul wants to remind us through giving us instructions about how we should live our lives as Christians. We must understand that it is very important for us to know that prayer should not only be done when it is scheduled or if there is an occasion and it is part of the program. As Christians, we should pray like we are breathing— constant and unending. We should treat it as one of the most important things to do everyday. We should not just take it for granted and just pray when we have time or what.
We must remember that having the freedom to pray is a gift from God. Having the freedom and the freedom of time to talk to God is His gift to mankind. In the old times, we all know that only the prophets who have the freedom to talk to God and that only the High Priests who had the right to approach the holy of holies to ask for the people’s forgiveness. Now, since Christ came to the world to save us from our sins, He has also restored our relationship with God so that we have the freedom to talk to God anytime. He has ripped the big curtain of sins and unholiness that has been separating us from the living God.
Therefore, Paul wants to remind us that we should devote ourselves in prayer. We should be watchful always. We should always stand guard and be alert always. Prayer should not be a careless act or just a spur of the moment but it should be initiated and intended. Though God encourages us to pray always and to talk to Him casually too, this does not mean that we should just do it carelessly and without honor. We must understand that prayer should be a privilege thing to do and that we are praying to a sovereign, glorified and holy God. Thus, we must be watchful and our prayers should be with a purpose. May it be just to talk to God for comfort, or just to tell God about our day, it must serve the purpose that it is our communication to God.
Next, Paul reminds us to be devoted to prayer in being thankful. We must acknowledge that God is the source of every good and perfect gift. We must understand that everything we have now comes from Him. We have been graced and have been given mercy because He is existentially good and gracious. Therefore, we must always pray and have constant communication with God either it is for our supplication or for thanking Him for all the blessings He has showered upon us.
So, we must not limit ourselves for just a three times a day prayer because we think that we are already very holy for doing that. We must not think that God owes us because we pray to Him. We must not think that prayer is something we do out of our own selfish way, but instead, we must understand that even prayer is a gift from God. We should always remember to be thankful to God always for everything, even for those things that have pained us. Let us always be reminded that the God who is existentially good and gracious has given us the gift of freedom to talk to Him always, thus, let us use this advantage always and talk to God always about everything. For praises and glory belongs to His name alone, always.