Colossians 4 - Pray with your eyes open
Salty language isn't just for sailors; the Bible commands your speech to be salty too!
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Colossians 4 (ESV)
treat your bondservants justly and fairly,
knowing that you also have a Master in heaven.
2 Continue steadfastly in prayer,
being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
3 At the same time,
pray also for us,
that God may open to us a door for the word,
the mystery of Christ,
on account of which I am in prison—
4 that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
5 Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.
6 Let your speech always be gracious,
seasoned with salt,
so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
7 Tychicus will tell you all about my activities.
He is a beloved brother and faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord.
8 I have sent him to you for this very purpose,
that you may know how we are
and that he may encourage your hearts,
9 and with him Onesimus,
our faithful and beloved brother,
who is one of you.
They will tell you of everything that has taken place here.
10 Aristarchus my fellow prisoner greets you,
the cousin of Barnabas
(concerning whom you have received instructions—if he comes to you, welcome him),
11 and Jesus who is called Justus.
These are the only men of the circumcision among my fellow workers for the kingdom of God, and they have been a comfort to me.
who is one of you,
a servant of Christ Jesus,
always struggling on your behalf in his prayers,
that you may stand mature and fully assured in all the will of God.
13 For I bear him witness that he has worked hard for you and for those in Laodicea and in Hierapolis.
14 Luke the beloved physician greets you, as does Demas.
15 Give my greetings to the brothers at Laodicea, and to Nympha and the church in her house.
16 And when this letter has been read among you,
have it also read in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you also read the letter from Laodicea.
17 And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”
18 I, Paul, write this greeting with my own hand.
Remember my chains.
Grace be with you.
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Colossians 4 Summary
Chapter four continues on with the list of the conditions that you are obligated to adhere to if (since) you've been raised with Christ (3:1). Chapter four adds two more to the list:
Continue steadfastly (literally: be full of might and power towards) in prayer.
Even though physically your head may be bowed and your eyes closed, remain ever watchful as you pray.
Make the most of every chance you have with outsiders,
literally walking alongside them in life.
Paul writes that your conversations should be seasoned with salt. I like how John Piper explains what this means: "what we say about Christ and about the Christian life should be made as appetizing as possible."
Our primary posture during prayer is often sitting down, head bowed, hands folded and eyes closed. Certainly there are benefits to all of those aspects, but v2 calls us to a different sort of prayer posture.
Being 'devoted' means to focus all of your strength towards God; Being 'watchful' means staying alert to both the needs of the world around us, and the way that God is active in it; of course being 'thankful' means that we respond back to God for the things He's done.
The kind of prayer v2 calls you to is not something that can be done in just a few minutes at the beginning or end of each day or before a meal, rather it's a way of living in harmony and continual communication with God as you go through your daily activities.
It's only when you're using all of your strength (both spiritually and physically) that you'll notice that God has 'opened the door for your message.'
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God sovereignly controls all things and opens the door in preparation for the gospel message (v9)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: Ask God to help you devote yourself to prayer, being watchful and thankful (v2)