Chapter 4:2-6 (ESV) - Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. At the same time, pray also for us, that God may open to us a door for the word, to declare the mystery of Christ, on account of which I am in prison— that I may make it clear, which is how I ought to speak.
Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.
Question to consider: How is our speech seasoned with salt?
I suppose we won’t really know what impact prayer has on our lives until we get to heaven, but it is worth noting that it appeared to be very important to Paul. Paul opened the letter letting the Colossians know that he continually lifted them up in prayer. The final thought Paul wished to leave the Colossians was to remain steadfast in prayer. When we pray, we are not trying to boss God around, but we are coming to our heavenly father as dear children casting our concerns at His feet, and making our requests known. It causes us to intentionally reflect with gratitude on how God is working in our lives and gives us peace in the asking.
It is worth pointing out that Paul’s request was for opportunities to preach the gospel to those who have kept him in shackles rather than being freed from them. Paul was told by an angel before he made the journey to Rome that he would stand before Caesar (Acts 27:24) so he already knew that it was not the will of God to free him as Peter had been freed in Jerusalem. I think that is a key thing to remember about prayer. Ultimately, we want for God’s will to be done because His will is so much better than our own even if we aren’t able to understand it at the time. So we make requests and trust that our heavenly father gives good things to His children.
Walking in wisdom toward outsiders was practical advice. Ministering to people is about building relationships. We should get to know people well enough to understand where they are in their spiritual walk and to know those who might try to exploit us or cause us harm. This can also help us to make the best use of the time so we don’t waste it getting engaged in worthless debates. Speech that is seasoned with salt makes people thirsty. They desire to hear from you again on the matter. It has been my experience that people open up to faith more like a combination lock than a light switch. So we continue to pray for more opportunities to reveal the wonderful gift Christ has given us.
Dear heavenly father, thank You for opening our eyes to faith in Christ. Help us to demonstrate the same gracious and thought-provoking speech as we received before we knew You. Please open to us a door for the word that we may declare the mystery of Christ to those around us. Amen.