Pray and Watch
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison- that I may make it clear, which is how we ought to speak.” (Colossians 4.1-4)
I love how Paul commends these brethren to not only pray, but to be “watchful”. It goes without saying that prayer is not a “wish”, but I wonder if we too often feel that prayer is powerless. Perhaps we pray because we are told to without expecting God to reply, ‘yeah, I will make it happen’. The directive given is to pray and watch for the result. The necessary application is that the prayer needs to be somewhat specific (such as praying for an opportunity to share Christ with a specific person). The watchfulness may indicate that the granting of that prayer may be a bit different than you had in mind. Perhaps you were thinking that person was going to ask you why you are different and what actually happened is that you had a tragically horrible day and they saw it- and how you handled it. There is an entirely different tangent that could be explored here about letting your light shine so that your conduct can be admired (not today). The point is to pray and watch for God’s will in the matter.
Assured that the prayers of “normal Christians” will be heard, Paul asks for their prayers for his ability to share the Gospel (mystery of Christ). While we are trying to share the Gospel with others we should take every advantage God is willing to grant. Pray for people that you will interact with, by name. Put their name before God and watch for the door to open, like Paul shows us. While inviting people to church is worthy, it is not the way salvation was spread in the first century. There are so many examples of teaching salvation- nearly all of them happen in streets, public spaces, and homes. 1 Peter 3.15 says we must always be prepared to answer for our hope [in salvation through Christ]. I hope you are prepared to tell someone why you know you are saved! If you are not, talk to your elders immediately! However, having that reply ready, pray for the door to be opened by God, and watch for the granting of that prayer. God only knows how many souls are counting on you.