Colossians 4:2-6, Acts 2:42
The discipline of devotion to prayer
- Would you say that you are someone who is devoted to prayer? What does ‘devoted to prayer’ mean to you?
- There are two examples of people who pray in this letter, Paul and Epaphras. Compare Colossians 1:9-10 with Colossians 4:12.
- Give some examples of how these verses show devotion to prayer?
- In what ways could Paul and Epaphras inspire your own prayer life?
- The first thing Paul says to those devoted to prayer is to be is watchful (literally, alert or awake – not just in terms of keeping your eyes open!).
- What do you think it means to be watchful in prayer?
- How do you think your prayer life could be more watchful?
- Although being watchful isn’t necessarily about keeping your eyes open, some people find it hard to stay awake when they pray. What sort of things can you do to be more alert as you pray; does the action of prayer always involve bowed heads and closed eyes?
- The second thing Paul says about prayer is to be thankful (v.2).
- Why do you think thankfulness is such an important aspect of prayer?
- What are some things you can be thankful for now?
- Although Paul is in prison, he doesn’t ask the Colossians to pray for his release?
- What does v.3-4 tell you about Paul’s priorities?
- In what sort of ways could you ask others to pray for you?
- Do you see the value and importance of praying for one another?
- Paul is encouraging the Colossians to be devoted to prayer. How can you encourage others to be more devoted to prayer?
- In v.5 Paul tells the Colossians to be wise, compare this with James 1:5. What is the relationship between wisdom and prayer?
- ‘Be wise in how you walk towards outsiders’ says Paul in v.5.
- What does this tell you about the ways we engage with those who are not Christians?
- How can you ‘make the most of every opportunity’?
- Would you say that your conversation is always full of grace (v.6, compare this with 1 Peter 3:15-17)? How can prayer help you to be more gracious in the ways you act/speak to others?
- What one thing can you do to become more devoted to prayer? Commit yourself to taking this step – it may help to tell someone else about your decision so they can remind you about it.