Colossians 4:2-4 Pray.
“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving” (v. 2). The NKJV seeks to bring into English the Greek word ‘proskartereo’ by modifying ‘continue’ with ‘earnestly’ because this is what the Greek conveys. One can think of a prosecutor arguing a case before the court. It conveys the idea of being diligent and persevering continually. Prayer is an earnest exercise. Jesus stressed that when we pray we should not lose heart (Lk. 18:1). Secondly, we are to be vigilant, or as the KJV has it-we are to ‘watch’. The Greek ‘gregoreuo’ means to stay awake (Cf. Mt. 24:42; 25:13; 26:38, 40-41; Mr. 13:34-35, 37; 14:34, 37-38; I Th. 5:6; Rev. 3:3). Luke records Paul’s instructions to the church to watch for false teachers (Acts 20:31). Vigilance conveys the same idea as watch (Cf. I Cor. 16:13). Finally, it is important that prayer always be engaged in with thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the acknowledgment that all we have comes as gifts of God’s love and mercy. Anyone who prays thinking that they ask for what they deserve, do not understand that we need and are saved by grace.
Prayer also looks outward to the needs of others, especially of those labouring to preach the word, “that God would open…a door for the word” (v. 3a Cf. Eph. 6:19). Paul certainly shared a unique place as an apostle, by making the mystery of the gospel of Jesus Christ known through the new revelation of the New Testament (Cf. Eph. 3:3-4). However, present day preachers of the word are also called to bring this revelation to all peoples as the final revelation of the gospel of grace, even if one is in circumstances like Paul-in chains (v. 3b Cf. I Cor. 16:9; Eph. 6:20). What was once a mystery, Paul was called to make “manifest” (v. 4). This activity of making “manifest” reiterates what Paul began this letter with, namely taking what was hidden in past ages and revealing it to the saints, which is Christ in us, “the hope of glory” (1:26). This is continually used in the NT to describe what was taking place with the apostolic ministry and the salvation history which it accompanied-in the life, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ, and the redemption that has come through Him (Cf. Lk. 8:17; Jn. 1:31; 3:21; 9:3; Acts 4:16; Rom. 16:26; I Tim. 3:16; II Tim. 1:10; Heb. 9:8; I Pt. 1:20; Rev. 15:4).