“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” (Colossians 4:2 ESV)
What power there is in knowing we can come before God and share our deepest concerns with Him. Such is the God we have and the love He has for us. In both the Old and New Testaments, communication with God was central to the relationship He shared with His people.
In a word, prayer is communication. It is going before God and speaking to Him honestly, attentively, and respectfully. Our prayers make our requests known to God (see Philippians 4:6); our prayers are to be done without ceasing (see 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). Our prayers should be offered to God in times of thanksgiving and distress, in sickness and in health and, above all, in faith.
We know that through faith in Jesus’ sacrifice, death, and resurrection, we have salvation from our sins. And by this redemption we are transformed into God’s children. As God’s children we can call on our Father at any time, in any place, and under any circumstance.
To pray then is to speak with God as one would a friend. You surely have needs, fears, and joys. Through a simple prayer, and of your own accord, thank God for the joy of living He is giving you. Thank Him for your good health, the people in your life, and for His provision. Let God know of your fears and everything that hurts you and breaks your heart. Pour out your tears before God, and He will comfort you. He will bless you and give you peace even in times of trouble.
Don’t forget that Jesus reminds us—just as He did His first disciples—”Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid” (John 14:27 ESV).
There’s also a 19th-century song that says it very well: “What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!”
Prayer: Heavenly Father, we thank You for the gift of prayer that we might make all our heartfelt concerns known to You. Remind us that You are near and hear our prayers whenever and wherever we offer them. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
Taken from the message, “Attending to Prayer,” provided by a volunteer working with Lutheran Hour Ministries-Cameroon
1. Do you think God hears every one of our prayer requests—no matter how small and insignificant they are?
2. What do you think it means to be “watchful” in prayer with thanksgiving?
3. Are you more likely to pray during good times or when things are bothering you?