As the Apostle Paul is confined in a Roman prison, he exhorts the Christians in the church of Colossae to have a fixed mindset. He commands them to put to death the flesh, which wages war against the soul. They are not to indulge in the passions that once held them in bondage, but to walk in truth pursuing the peace of Christ.
They were now ambassadors of Christ and had been rescued from the domain of darkness through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. So Paul commanded them, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth. For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God and when Christ, who is your life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.”
Now, the environment in Asia Minor at this time was very hostile. Christians were being persecuted, sexual immorality had infiltrated the streets, and false teachers were everywhere. This was a great battle, so each believer had to be prepared for battle, keeping a sober mind. So as Paul begins to close out the letter to them, he tells them, “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
The apostle knew that prayer was very powerful, and that in our weakness we become carried out in our lives through obedience, for God designed prayer not only to accomplish His will, but also as the means in which people will be saved. Yes, it is true, when a sinner cries out to Christ with brokenness, the gates of hell shake, the powers of darkness tremble, and the chains of darkness fall off! “O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR VICTORY? O DEATH, WHERE IS YOUR STING? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Come now, saints of God, gird yourself with holy warfare, for the victory is ours, break forth in prayer and cry aloud, “O Father, thou art enthroned to hear my prayers, O Jesus, thy hand is outstretched to take my petitions, O Holy Spirit, thou art willing to help my infirmities, to show me my need, to supply words, to pray within me, to strengthen me that I faint not in supplication. O gracious God, who commands the universe, thou hast commanded me to ask for those things that concern thy kingdom and my soul. Let me live and pray as one who has been baptized into your death.”
Rodney Nantz strong. “For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh, but divinely powerful for the destruction of fortresses. We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ.”
Even so, through prayer, Daniel saw the angry lions tamed; Joshua, in the midst of a great battle, cried for the sun to stand still over Gibeon, and it did, as they defeated the five kings of the Amorites. This was a battle that was only won by the power of God through the prayer of a broken man.
Let us also not forget about Elijah, who in the midst of Israel’s greatest rebellion, stood against Ahab, the king of Israel, who married a Sidonian princess named Jezebel. She incited him to abandon the worship of God and encourage worship of the deities Baal and Asherah instead.
Through the righteous anger of Elijah, he cried to the God of heaven, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word,” and for the next three and a half years their was no rain. God used this moment in human history to display his power over creation.
So may this verse run deep into your heart, for the knowledge of God leads to wisdom, which is
“Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;” Colossians 4:2 NASBS