Look and Pray

I have been posting a lot of prayers during my sabbatical because of the time it gives me to pray. I am enjoying the large amounts of time to be still and wait for the Lord immensely. This morning I came across Colossians 4:2, which tells us something of how to pray:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

This verse tells us three things about prayer:

  1. Be devoted to it
  2. Be alert and ready
  3. Be thankful

As I sit in the early morning hours and read these words, my tired eyes are drawn to number 2. What does it mean to be alert and ready? The original greek word (gregoreuo) means to keep awake, refrain from sleep and so to remain alert, watchful and ready to meet danger or emergency. It means to be quick to perceive and act; being on the lookout.

We have to be ready prayer at all times! I think this seems easy until I think about how often I am drawn to prayer during the day. A hint, it’s not real often some days. If I’m devoted to prayer and being watchful, most of my day should be drawing me to prayer.

Why is be watchful for opportunities to pray important? It is holy work. It is the work of setting your mind on the things of heaven and then praying that it may be on earth as it is in heaven. I think this can look many different ways. A few suggestions:

  • When someone needs prayer, pray with them right then rather than later by yourself. If you are alert, you will be ready and see the opportunity.
  • Set aside regular times each day to stop and pray. At the church we stop each day at 10am and 2pm for 10-15 minutes of prayer. Making it a regular habit helps me be alert.
  • Learn to listen to the Holy Spirit. It will help you know when there is danger or emergency that you are to be meeting head on with prayer.
Right now I find myself in the midst of that third one, cultivating a deep inner prayer life and connection to the Holy Spirit. It seems slippery. For me, it is no easy thing to listen to and feel connected with the Holy Spirit. I think it takes work to learn. So I am working. And praying.

How can I pray for you today?



  1. Pray that I can be thankful on this new journey our family is on, because there are sooooo many things to be thankful for – but sometimes the sucky stuff gets in the way of seeing it.

    Pray for healing for Jeff. Praise Him that Jeff's feeling good and that the chemo isn't making him sick (just tired!)

    Pray for safety for an almost 16 year old with a shiny red fixer-uper sports car.

    Pray for safety for a 17 year old on his first all-nighter prom excursion.

    Pray that I can be alert and ready also!

    That ought to keep you busy for a while!

    And how can I pray for you?

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