¶ 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 I ought to speak.
Colossians 4:2-4

paul-the-apostleWe are sometimes told, “All we can do in moments like these is pray.” I guess there are probably times when that might be true. There are certainly times when I feel that it’s true. But it rarely is. What could the imprisoned Apostle do locked up in his dingy prison cell? What could the Colossians do so far away from their beloved Apostle? And what on earth, in circumstances like these, did either of them have to be thankful for? Yet from the Apostle’s perspective, there was no time to waste! “Make the best use of your time!” (Col. 4:5) This epistle is testament to that. Rather than wallowing in despair and self-pity, he prayed. But praying wasn’t all he could do and neither was it all that he did. He prayed and.

 For all the Colossians who were battling heresies on several fronts (which is mainly why the Apostle wrote to them) there was much to do besides praying. Pray and.

ometimes life’s circumstances come at the most inconvenient times. They catch us off guard. It’s as if they wait for when we are least able to deal with them – when we are already caught up with other things – when we are emotionally drained, financially struggling, or spiritually faltering. It is in these times that we must pray. We should pray – for strength, God’s help, and for the mind of Christ.

paul_jailPrayer can be a dedicated daily routine.

Routine is our friend, especially spiritually.

Prayer can be spontaneous.

Pray now.

Prayer can be systematic.

Pray through a list.

Prayer can be our constant communion.

Pray as you work, travel, sit, or doing nothing.

Prayers can be spoken or silent.

God knows the desires of our heart.

Prayer can be solitary.

Pray alone.

Prayer can be corporate.

Pray together.

 Paul’s circumstances were depressing, but he was not depressed. Activity and worship have long been known remedies for such maladies of the soul. Paul was active while in his prison chains. He wrote several epistles. I wonder if he understood that his letters would be read by billions of people around the world over thousands of years? Having a perspective beyond your own four walls of time, locale, and circumstances helps prison chains to vanish.

prosthetic limbFWB-hospital-as-a-boy This is one of the things that I admire most about F.W. Boreham. At the age of 15 he was involved in an horrific accident involving a train where he teetered at death’s door for nine months and left him with just one leg. It was when doctors told his mother to prepare for the worst that she went to her church and prayed for God to spare her son. “If You will, I will give him to You!” she prayed and, within the hour news arrived that her son had just made a miraculous recovery. With just one leg, F.W. Boreham could no longer play his beloved cricket. But maintained a love for the game and when he moved to Tasmania he soon became President of the Hobart Cricket Club and upon moving to Melbourne he became a member of the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The pain that he would suffer throughout his life due to the primitive amputation techniques of the day would be made all the worse by the breaking of his partial leg another three times and the shattering of his nerve as a result. Yet, within a year or so of his life-changing tragedy he surrendered his life to Christ and would go on to do everything in his power to be the finest preacher he could be – which included honing his usage of words through writing.

F.W. Boreham as a boy Boreham’s first pastorate was a small town just outside of Dunedin, New Zealand. He cut his teeth as preacher in Mosgiel. He loved to pray. But he had learned from the likes of Spurgeon that the best praying is added to. Pray and. Not a soul in that South Island ever knew that F.W. Boreham only had one leg. He never mentioned it, or the accident, in any of his sermons or articles. Instead, he began to focus on the immensities of God, the infinities of His wonder, and the eternity awaiting the redeemed to enjoy Him. This was increasingly reflected in his writings (for which he is best known today) and even more so during the last half of World War 1, and the entire Second World War. Instead, Boreham got busy writing and preaching about things much bigger than wars, and much grander in scale than the world of his day. For this he was sharply criticised. But the result today is that we have some of the most eloquent essays on topics that touch us all. These essays have now been, and continue to be, read by tens of millions of people from all across the globe, decades and decades after F.W. Boreham’s passing in 1959. Lifting your vision beyond your own painful circumstances makes even the chains of amputation vanish. FWB prayed and.

The Apostle firstly urged the Colossian believers to pray and to pray steadfastly. This is the kind of praying that keeps going when everybody else gives us. But the Colossians weren’t just urged to pray. They were to pray, and – give thanks. It’s too easy to let the weight of our chains deceive us into ingratitude.

¶ Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name; make known his deeds among the peoples!
Psalm 105:1

 Pray, give thanks, and. “At the same time,” entreaty the Apostle, “pray also for us“. It’s too easy to let the chains of life’s circumstances blind us to the plight of others. ‘Pray steadfastly, give thanks, and pray for us.’  But how? Not for his release from prison! Not for his captors to have a change of heart and let them go! No! “Pray for us also.” But not for a change in circumstances. No! But “that God may open to us a door for the Word.” Pray that God might grant them an open door for the Gospel to be preached! When we pray and, we can certainly pray for our own needs, but “at the same time” we can pray for others and the cause of Christ to advance. We can steadfastly pray, and give thanks, and at the same time pray for others, and also pray that those who take the Gospel to others will be effective in doing so. Pray and.       

 What ails you? Pray and. If you’re troubled by the chains of your physical condition, pray and. Pray for God to give you the strength and determination to take a daily walk and take a daily walk. If you’re troubles by the chains of a relationship gone sour, pray and. Pray for God to give you the wisdom and humility to reconcile and restore and initiate contact with them. If you’re troubled by the chains of your financial predicament, pray and. Pray that God will increase your income and decrease your expenses and stop using credit cards. If you’re troubled by the chains of mental fog and anguish, pray and


¶ 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 I ought to speak.
Colossians 4:2-4


Pastor Andrew