Prayer and Thanksgiving

by Rev Jason Phua

Bible Readings: Colossians 3:18-4:18; Psalm 78:56-72

READ (Verse chosen for reflection)
Colossians 4:2 “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”

Many disciples of Christ know it is important to pray; but how often do we pray or more importantly, what is our attitude towards prayer? The Apostle Paul’s letters to the churches are often “soaked” in his teaching and call for prayers. In Colossians 4:2, Paul’s exhortation to the church in Colossae is to continue steadfastly in prayers and they are to be “watchful in it with thanksgiving”. I like the NAS translation of this verse which says: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;” To Paul, being steadfast in prayer and having an attitude of thanksgiving is closely related. Without an attitude of thanksgiving, it seems unlikely that our Christian life can demonstrate steadfastness in prayer. In other words, the lack of a prayerful life often reflects an ungrateful attitude towards our Abba Father.

Indeed, ungrateful children don’t interact often with their parents. They feel entitled. They don’t usually say thank you even when they know that their parents work hard to give them a reasonably “good life”. They would ask for money or things when they are in need. However, on usual days, they would very much prefer to spend time with their friends or on their phones than having a conversation with their parents.

How much of an ungrateful child am I to my Father in heaven? Why is it that there are times when I choose not to wait upon my Abba Father even though deep down, I believe He loves me? I can only conclude that I have been ungrateful. I have taken Him for granted. May the Lord restore my heart in Him to help me to be more steadfast in prayers and being watchful in it with thanksgiving.

Abba Father, give me the grace to grow in gratefulness of who You are in my life. This is so I can grow in being steadfast in my daily conversations with You. Amen.


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