Watchful & Thankful

I’m not sure why, but when I was younger, I was in the (admittedly awesome) habit of praying one verse before I went anywhere or hung out with anyone. Big or small – an event or a trip to the grocery store – I, for some reason, would always remind myself to pray the verse, “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer,” beforehand (Psalm 19:4). I can’t help but be reminded of that verse and that habit when I read Colossians 4. Colossians 4:2-6 says,

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

What my junior high heart probably didn’t quite realize when I would pray that verse was that I was asking for God’s help to make Colossians 4:5-6 come true in my life that day. As a follower of Jesus, I deeply desire to make the most out of every opportunity I have in this life and to glorify God with each opportunity. I want to be known as someone who lifts others up in conversation and someone who is known for her gracious words. I might not pray for that as often as I used to or as often as I should, but I so deeply want those things for my life.

Yet, so often, my conversation is NOT full of grace and I let opportunities slip through the cracks. I fall short because I am a broken human being, and I know that I will continue to mess up. You likely know this about yourself, too.

Thank goodness, we serve a God who is infinitely more gracious towards us than we often are to ourselves. Whereas I tend to beat myself up for the ways that I fail, my God sees me through the lens of Jesus and He just asks me to come to Him and ask for help… and Colossians 4:2 tells us how. That verse says, “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” That’s it. No “try harder” or “work more” or even a simply “be better” is found in those verses. Just an encouragement to PRAYER. I love that. Prayer truly can allow us to watch for those opportunities and remind us to watch our tongues, and no amount of our striving or our effort can match the power of devoted prayer.

Today, I want to encourage you to start your day with some prayer time and ask God to help you as you go about your day. I’ll be praying Psalm 19:14 over my conversations and interactions today, along with those first few verses of Colossians 4. Perhaps you’ll do the same.