As I ponder the marketplace applications in Colossians 4, I find the initial imperative in v. 2 intriguing:
“Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.”
In its purest form, this verse is straightforward. As we’re devoted to persistent prayer, may our focus be coated in gratitude and humility – a fitting charge for supervisors and subordinates alike.
However, digging deeper, I find the next layer even more compelling.
As we worship on the go, on the clock, on the way…not only should we be alert in prayer, but also watchful in it..
Consider John 16:13 (AMP) and 1 Corinthians 16:13 (AMP):
“…the Spirit of Truth…will guide you into all the truth [full and complete truth]. For He will not speak on His own initiative, but He will speak whatever He hears, and He will disclose to you what is to come [in the future].”
“Be on guard; stand firm in your faith [in God, respecting His precepts and keeping your doctrine sound]. Act like [mature] men and be courageous; be strong.”
Fusing these contexts, we find powerful truth regarding God’s intent for our employers. As we act wisely towards clients making the most of our time (4:5) with solutions seasoned with salt (4:6), let’s not compartmentalize prayer as an extemporaneous exercise; rather let’s integrate it with expectancy into all we do from procedure and protocol to communications and collaboration.
‘Cause truth is: While popcorn prayers are perfectly acceptable within mind and with colleagues, to be watchful for God’s unfolding purposes, we must also be sensitive to what we should ask the Holy Spirit in terms of corporate direction. For many are the meetings we set to plan our course, but fewer the ones we set for God to establish His steps.
“The steps of a [good and righteous] man are directed and established by the Lord, And He delights in his way [and blesses his path].” ~ Psalm 37:23 (AMP)
“A man’s mind plans his way [as he journeys through life], But the Lord directs his steps and establishes them.” ~ Proverbs 16:9 (AMP)
Granted, these exchanges can be one and the same but that, in part, is my point in writing this: As much as we chart and map our goals, for them to be set apart as anointed strategies, we must be steadfast and watchful in meekness, in praise, and the effort in between. Only then can we discern how to communicate the mystery of Christ through our work (v. 3).
As for today, my friends, uphold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience, spiritual maturity, and the belief that as your hearts are encouraged, you’ll be able to understand the doors of opportunity (4:3) God opens for you to proclaim that mystery. Remember as you seek the Lord with a pure heart to ask Him to make His intentions known and His ways straight. In this way, even during your darkest days, you’ll be in position to stay alert and be watchful in prayer when you engage God at work.
As for next time, I will aim to build off this post with some more practical, baseline ideas on how we can abide in watchful prayer and thanksgiving during our daily routines.
As I always say, you got this!
Cover graphic creds: Cities Church