When I made my first communion at Blessed Sacrament Grade School in north Omaha, we were given prayer books and rosaries and taught that prayer was really important. We had to have memorized the Hail Mary and the Our Father as part of the initiation rites of receiving communion.  I no longer subscribe to the recitation of memorized prayers over and over, but I still hold strong to the importance of prayer.

Paul certainly did.  He gives us some interesting instructions on prayer in Colossians chapter 4. He begins by saying “Continue steadfastly in prayer…” My 4 year old Grandson wanted to be the one to say the prayer for his breakfast at McDonalds. When he bowed his head, he said, “Dear God…” Then he stopped and said, “I don’t know what to say.” Kathy showed him his eggs and sausage and milk and told him to say thank you for them. He did.

Paul’s next phrase is pretty much like Kathy’s instructions to Zeke. He tells us “…being watchful in it with thanksgiving.” The “being watchful” phrase refers to alertness to the times and situations around us. We should know what to pray for, who to pray for as determined by our life situations and the world situations as a whole. We should know what’s going on in the lives of others and with our nation, our community and our church. We should intercede for all according to their needs. At the same time our prayer must contain the element of thanksgiving. We should see God’s work in the world, our country, our churches, our lives and acknowledge Him as the source of all our blessings.

Another very important item of prayer must be the advancement of the Gospel. Paul continues his instructions regarding prayer by saying, “Pray for us also, that God would open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ… that I may make it clear and know what I ought to say.”


“Continue steadfastly in prayer…” Colossians 4:2