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Colossians 4:2

ESV Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving.
NIV Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
NASB Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving;
CSB Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.
NLT Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.
KJV Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

What does Colossians 4:2 mean?

Verses 2–6 discuss how a Christian speaks. Paul begins by asking for constant and loyal prayer. God does not intend for prayer to be an event taking place only at certain times. It is meant to be an ongoing dialogue with the Lord. First Thessalonians 5:17 notes believers are to "pray without ceasing" or without end."

Paul mentions two important aspects of prayer. First, believers are to be "watchful" in prayer. This carries the idea of standing guard, or staying awake at night to make sure a location is safe. Prayer demands ongoing attention, just like the guard at a city gate. In practical terms, this means prayer is not supposed to be a careless, casual, or frivolous act. We should pray with specific purpose and with deliberate intent.

Second, prayer should be thankful. The Colossian believers were already connected with thanksgiving (Colossians 2:7), with Paul thanking God for them in his prayers (Colossians 1:3). A major benefit of prayer is aligning our will with God's will, which leads to greater understanding and to a greater sense of gratitude.
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