Thursday, August 18, 2011

Continue Praying, Watch, and Give Thanks

Continue Praying, Watching and Giving Thanks

Barbara Henderson

Colossians 4:2, ‘Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving:’.

Am I correct in guessing that you personally have been praying for the same thing for some time now?  Your prayer hasn’t been answered, and you are tired. 

 If that is correct, you may be asking yourself, ‘What am I supposed to do when a prayer hasn’t been answered?’

 You are supposed to keep on praying in obedience to the teachings of the Bible.  The Bible doesn’t tell us for how long.  It just says to continue.  The encouragement to keep on praying is that you hope to eventually get the desired answer.  You hope to reach the desired haven. (Psalm 107:30)

 The Lord may give you exactly what you are want.  You can trust God to definitely have your best interests at heart.  However, there aren’t any guarantees regarding exactly how long it will be before the Lord answers.  While you are waiting, you may feel like you will faint, give up, or be tempted to forget the matter entirely.  Obedience to the Lord compels you to continue to pray regardless of impatience or discouragement.

 Then, as you continue in prayer, you are to watch. 

You are to watch for:


Worldliness creeping in

Unsound doctrine leading you astray – which requires you to learn sound doctrine

Ungodly distractions (King David let one of those ruin his life – so beware)



Watch for your answer! 

 Remember Micah 7:7 which says, ‘Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.’  Write that on the palm of your hand and read it every time you are discouraged or doubtful!

 In the midst of all this praying and watching, there should be an element of thanksgiving not dependent on the circumstances in which you are living, nor the length of time between when you begin to pray and when you receive your answer,

 Thanksgiving is important for many reasons.

First, the Lord tells to be thankful so it is a matter of obedience.

Second, the Lord deserves our thanks. 

Third, thanksgiving is a mighty tool, a gift from God.  Through thanksgiving, people are able to ‘change the video playing in their heads’.  I mean, they can take their minds off of some event or sorrow and concentrate on something else. 

Thanksgiving is a path to sanity.  A story of overwhelming sorrow is that of the first Christian settlement on the continent which would one day be contain the United States of America.  These were people who loved the Lord so much they wanted to live in a country where God was the indisputable King.  So they set out on a tiny ship called the Mayflower; sailed to America; went ashore; and suffered approximately 50% casualties in their first year in the new land.  So what did they do in the midst of such sorrow? 

They set up their first thanksgiving on the shores of their new land.  It is a very remarkable event because of the magnitude of sorrow and suffering that they had endured just prior to the thanksgiving.

 They thanked God for His mercy in the 50% who survived.  They thanked Him for His providential care of them in the new land.  I believe the realized that in order to survive, they had to do something drastic to turn their thoughts away from the losses they had just suffered.  They looked away from their losses and thanked God for His goodness.  It was by the mercy of God that all had not perished.

 They went on to lay the groundwork for building a nation founded on the principles for living given to us in the Bible.  Yes, the United States definitely has a wonderful and strong Christian heritage.  There is no way anyone who is even slightly honest can edit our Christian heritage out of our history.

 The future of any person, family, church, nation, or economy is always uncertain at best.  Sometimes it is much more obvious that perils are looming ahead, but it really is always the same.  To face such a time as this, there is no better preparation than to continue in prayer, and watch with thanksgiving.

 Being obedient to God through continued prayer is a path to getting prayers answered.  Continued prayer does have additional benefits in addition to having your petitions answered.  A main benefit is that your life is changed for the better.  The more you pray, watch, and give thanks, the more you consider the ways of the Lord and His goodness.  Your heart will be changed for the better. 

 Consider Luke 6:45 which says, ‘A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.’

 If you would be that good man/woman who brings forth good from the heart, then continue in prayer, watchfulness, and thanksgiving.  Remember that what God instructs us to do is what is good for us to do. 

 I would like to personally encourage each reader to continue in prayer.  No matter how long you have been praying for something, no matter how discouraged you may be – take heart.  The Lord will hear you.  The Lord will help you. 

 Remember Galatians 6:9 which says, ‘And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.’

Take My Hand Precious Lord

 Precious Lord, take my hand

            Lead me on, let me stand

            I'm tired, I’m weak, I’m lone

            Through the storm, through the night

            Lead me on to the light

            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home


            When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near

            When my life is almost gone

            Hear my cry, hear my call

            Hold my hand lest I fall

            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home


            When the darkness appears and the night draws near

            And the day is past and gone

            At the river I stand

            Guide my feet, hold my hand

            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home


            Precious Lord, take my hand

            Lead me on, let me stand

            I'm tired, I’m weak, Lord I’m worn

            Through the storm, through the night

            Lead me on to the light

            Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home