Colossians 4:2
Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
[7.Conclusion of the Epistle.

(1)FINAL EXHORTATION to prayer (especially for St. Paul himself), and to wisdom towards those without, both in deed and in word (Colossians 4:2-6).

(2)COMMENDATION of Tychicus and Onesimus (Colossians 4:7-9).

(3)SALUTATION from Aristarchus, Marcus, Justus, Epaphras, Luke, Demas (Colossians 4:10-14).

(4)CHARGE to this Church to exchange greetings and letters with the Laodicean Church, and special charge to Archippus (Colossians 4:15-17).

(5)FINAL SALUTATION (Colossians 4:18).]

(2-4) Comp. the almost exact parallel in Ephesians 6:18-20, and see Notes there.

Colossians 4:2-3. Continue in prayer — As a means to enable you to perform the fore-mentioned duties. This direction being given here, and Ephesians 6:18, (where see the note,) immediately after the apostle’s exhortation to relative duties, teaches us that they who live in one family should often join in social prayer for God’s assistance to enable them to perform their duties to each other. And watch in the same — Against negligence and indolence. See on Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 4:7; with thanksgiving — For those mercies which you have already received, in answer to former petitions, or in which God hath prevented you with the blessings of his goodness. Praying also for us — Observe, reader, Christians in the highest state of grace need the prayers of others. “This passage affords instruction both to ministers and to their people: to ministers, not to despise an assistance which even an inspired apostle thought useful to him: and to the people, to be careful to assist their ministers with a help which in the end will greatly redound to their own benefit.” That God would open unto us a door of utterance — That is, give us utterance, that we may open our mouth boldly, (Ephesians 6:19,)

and give us an opportunity of speaking, so that none may be able to hinder. For which I am also in bonds — Then most grievous to me when they prove an obstruction to that great business of my life, the propagation of the gospel, in which the glory of God and the happiness of men are so highly concerned.4:2-6 No duties can be done aright, unless we persevere in fervent prayer, and watch therein with thanksgiving. The people are to pray particularly for their ministers. Believers are exhorted to right conduct towards unbelievers. Be careful in all converse with them, to do them good, and recommend religion by all fit means. Diligence in redeeming time, commends religion to the good opinion of others. Even what is only carelessness may cause a lasting prejudice against the truth. Let all discourse be discreet and seasonable, as becomes Christians. Though it be not always of grace, it must always be with grace. Though our discourse be of that which is common, yet it must be in a Christian manner. Grace is the salt which seasons our discourse, and keeps it from corrupting. It is not enough to answer what is asked, unless we answer aright also.Continue in prayer - That is, do not neglect it; observe it at all stated times; maintain the spirit of prayer, and embrace all proper occasions to engage in it; compare the Luke 18:1 note; Ephesians 6:18 note; 1 Thessalonians 4:17 note.

And watch in the same with thanksgiving - Watch for favorable opportunities; watch that your mind may be in a right frame when you pray: and watch, that when your mind is in a right frame you may not neglect to pray; see the Ephesians 6:18 note; Philippians 4:6.

2. Continue—Greek, "Continue perseveringly," "persevere" (Eph 6:18), "watching thereunto"; here, "watch in the same," or "in it," that is, in prayer: watching against the indolence as to prayer, and in prayer, of our corrupt wills.

with thanksgiving—for everything, whether joyful, or sorrowful, mercies temporal and spiritual, national, family, and individual (1Co 14:17; Php 4:6; 1Th 5:18).

Continue in prayer; persevere or hold on strongly in prayer with fervency: we are apt to grow sluggish and indisposed, and therefore have need of quickening to this duty, Luke 18:1 Ephesians 6:18.

And watch in the same; endeavouring to keep the heart in all fit seasons unto this, as a help to the precedent and subsequent duties, Psalm 5:3 Mark 13:33, &c.; Acts 12:12 Romans 12:12 1 Thessalonians 5:17 Jam 5:16 Revelation 3:2.

With thanksgiving; with acknowledgment of thanks for what we have already received, Psalm 116:12,13 1 Thessalonians 5:18. Continue in prayer,.... This is not said particularly to masters, as in the foregoing verse, but to all the members of the church in general; for the apostle having taken notice of some special duties relating to persons in different stations of life, returns to such as were common to them all; as this of prayer to God is, for such prayer is intended; for though the object is not expressed here, he is in the following verse, and the Mediator Christ is supposed, and also the Holy Spirit, whose assistance is necessary to it. The things exhorted to, and required in prayer, are, first, as in this clause, continuance in it, which does not mean that men should be always formally praying to God; nor can it be thought that saints are always in praying frames of soul, though such are always desirable; but it intends frequency and constancy in prayer, in opposition to an entire restraint and omission of it, and to a performance of it but now and then, or very rarely; for though Christians are not, as the Jews were, bound to certain stated hours of prayer, so many times in a day, yet a day should not pass without prayer to God; for their daily cases call for it; their lives, their health, their daily bread, and all their temporal enjoyments, which depend on his daily goodness, providence, and power; their spiritual affairs, the renewing of the inward man day by day, fresh supplies of grace for new service; their daily trials and afflictions, their continued enemies, sin, Satan, and the world, all fully show the necessity of daily prayer: besides, God does not always immediately answer the prayers of his people, he will be sought unto time after time, even for a blessing he intends to give; and therefore the saints should not be discouraged, but continue in prayer till they receive the mercy, and their importunity is a means of enjoying it, as in the case of the poor widow; and which is an encouraging reason why men should pray always, and not faint. Add to this, that constant prayer is a means of keeping up a spiritual acquaintance, intercourse, and familiarity with God, and of the soul alive in the vigorous exercise of the graces of the Spirit, and of preserving the saints from temptations and sin; for, generally speaking, restraining prayer before God, and casting off his fear, go together. The next things requisite in prayer are watchfulness and thankfulness:

and watch in the same with thanksgiving. There is not only a watchfulness unto it, previous to a man's entrance on it, as in Ephesians 6:18 but a watchfulness in it, which is opposed both to sleepiness of body, and to coldness and indifference of mind, to all careless airs and negligent manner of performing it; and designs an intenseness of mind, an application of thought, and fervency of devotion, and affection in it. It lies in a concern, that the heart be lift up, with the hands to God; in a care, that what is asked is according to the will of God, and that the whole be performed in sincerity, faith, and fear. This is what the Jews call , "the attention of prayer" (f), and , "the intention of the heart"; and which, they say (g), is the root of prayer, the main and principal thing in it; and that every prayer which is not with intention, is no prayer (h); and which, they observe, lies in this, that a man turns his heart from all (other) thoughts, and seems to himself as if he stood before the divine Majesty. To this

thanksgiving must be added; see Philippians 4:6 for this is well pleasing to God; and the contrary, an ungrateful spirit, is highly resented by him. Besides, a believer has always mercies to bless God for, as well as favours to ask at his hands; nor is he ever in such a situation, either in temporals or spirituals, but he has something to bless God for. Moreover, how should it be expected that a person should succeed in a present request, who is not thankful for a former kindness?

(f) T. Bab. Bava Bathra, fol. 164. 2. & Sabbat, fol. 127. 1.((g) R. Aben Ezra in Psal. lxxviii. 37. (h) Maimon. Hilch. Tephilla, c. 4. sect. 15, 16.

{1} {2} Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;

(1) He adds certain general exhortations, and at length ends his epistle with various familiar and godly salutations.

(2) Prayers must be continual and earnest.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Colossians 4:2. To prayer apply yourselves perseveringly; comp. Romans 12:12; Ephesians 6:18; Acts 1:14; also 1 Thessalonians 5:17 : ἀδιαλείπτως προσεύχεσθε, which is substantially the same thing. Comp. Luke 18:1.

γρηγορ. ἐν αὐτῇ] modal definition of the προσκαρτερεῖν: so that ye are watchful (that is, alacres, mentally attentive and alert, not weary and distracted, comp. 1 Thessalonians 5:6; Ephesians 6:18; 1 Peter 4:7; 1 Peter 5:7 f.; Matthew 26:41) in the same. ἐν, not to be taken as instrumental, is meant of the business, in the execution of which they are to be vigilant, since it is prayer in itself, as an expression of the spiritual life, and not as an aid to moral activity, that is spoken of. Hence we must not interpret it, with Hofmann, as indicating how Christian watchfulness ought to be (namely, a watching in prayer), but rather how one ought to be in praying (namely, watchful therein). The point of the precept is the praying; and hence it is continued by προσεύχομενοι.

ἐν εὐχαρ.] accompanying attitude, belonging to γρηγ. ἐν αὐτῇ; with thanksgiving, amidst thanksgiving, namely, for the benefits already received. Comp. Colossians 1:12, Colossians 2:7, Colossians 3:17; Php 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17. This is the essential element of the piety of prayer:[169] αὕτη γὰρ ἡ ἀληθινὴ εὐχὴ Ἡ ΕὐΧΑΡΙΣΤΊΑΝ ἜΧΟΥΣΑ ὙΠῈΡ ΠΆΝΤΩΝ ὯΝ ἼΣΜΕΝ ΚΑῚ ὯΝ ΟὐΚ ἼΣΜΕΝ, ὯΝ Εὖ ἘΠΆΘΟΜΕΝ Ἢ ἘΘΛΊΒΟΜΕΝ, ὙΠῈΡ ΤῶΝ ΚΟΙΝῶΝ ΕὐΕΡΓΕΣΊΩΝ, Theophylact. The combination with Τῇ ΠΡΟΣΕΥΧῇ ΠΡΟΣΚΑΡΤ. (Böhmer, Hofmann) is without ground in the context, although likewise suitable as to sense.

[169] But Olshausen incorrectly says: “the prayer of the Christian at all times, in the consciousness of the grace which he has experienced, can only be a prayer of thanksgiving.” He holds the more general προσευχή to be more precisely defined by ἐν εὐχαρ. Against this view the very ver. 3 is decisive, where, in fact, Paul does not mean a prayer of thanks.

Colossians 4:2-6. After having already concluded the general exhortations at Colossians 3:17, Paul now subjoins some by way of supplement, and that in aphoristic epistolary fashion, concerning prayer along with intercession for himself (Colossians 4:2-4), and demeanour towards non-Christians (Colossians 4:5-6). How special was the importance of both under the circumstances then existing!Colossians 4:2-6. EXHORTATIONS TO PRAYER, ESPECIALLY FOR THE FURTHERANCE OF THE APOSTLE’S WORK, TO WISDOM TOWARDS THOSE WITHOUT AND TO FITNESS OF SPEECH.2–6. Prayer: Intercourse with non-Christians

2. Continue in prayer] Persevere at prayer. Cp. Ephesians 6:18, where the like precept is prefaced by the elaborated thought of the spiritual combat and armour. Cp. for the phrase Romans 12:12.—Here as there he returns from the details of life to the great spiritual requisites to any true life for God.

Continue:—it is implied that prayer is no mere spiritual luxury or interlude; it is sacred business, with its difficulties and its labour. Cp. Luke 21:36; Php 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17.

Prayer:—“the Christian’s vital breath.” The word includes all the elements of adoring converse with God—confession, petition, thanksgiving, ascription.

watch] Cp. the Lord’s own “watch and pray”; Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38. And on spiritual watchfulness generally, as against the coma of the world, cp. Matthew 24:42-43; Mark 13:35-37; Luke 12:37; Acts 20:31; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Thessalonians 5:6; 1 Peter 5:8; Revelation 3:2-3; Revelation 16:15.

in the same] The watching was to be conditioned and maintained in the exercise of prayer. The believer was to be ready both for the tempter and for the Judge in the strength of spiritual contact with God.

with thanksgiving] which, though a normal element in true prayer, tends to be forgotten, especially under trial, and so needs special mention. Cp. ch. Colossians 1:12, Colossians 2:7, Colossians 3:15; Colossians 3:17.Colossians 4:2. Τῇ προσευχῇ, in prayer) Ephesians 6:18.Verses 2-6. - SECTION IX. PRAYER AND SOCIAL CONVERSE. There are added some brief exhortations of a more general tenor, the contents of which are summed up in the heading given to this section. Verse 2. - Continue steadfast in prayer, being watchful (or, wakeful) therein, with thanksgiving (Ephesians 6:18; Romans 12:12; Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18; 1 Timothy 2:1; Luke 11:5-10; Luke 18:1-8; Luke 21:36; Acts 1:14; Acts 20:31; 1 Corinthians 16:13; 1 Peter 5:8; Matthew 26:41; Mark 14:38). "Steadfast continuance" in prayer is specially illustrated in our Lord's sayings on the subject in St. Luke (comp. Acts 1:14, where the same peculiar verb is used). In Philippians 4:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17, 18; 1 Timothy 2:l, again "thanksgiving" is associated with "prayer." Wakefulness in prayer is enjoined by Christ in Matthew 26:41 and Mark 14:38: compare the synonymous ἀγρυπνέω, to be sleepless, used in Ephesians 6:1, 2; Mark 13:33; Luke 21:36; Hebrews 13:17. "To be awake" is to be alive in the fullest sense, to have all the powers of perception and action in readiness. The activity of the soul in prayer is to be both energetic and incessant. "With [literally in, ἐν, not μετὰ, as in Ephesians 6:18] thanksgiving gives the pervading element or influence, in or under which the prayers of the Colossians were to be offered (comp. Colossians 1:12; Colossians 2:7; Colossians 3:15, 17). Continue (προσκαρτερεῖτε)

See on Acts 1:14. Compare Acts 2:42, Acts 2:46; Acts 6:4; Romans 12:12; Romans 13:6; 1 Thessalonians 5:17. Rev., correctly, continue steadfastly.

Watching (γρηγοροῦντες)

See on Mark 13:35; see on 1 Peter 5:8. In Ephesians 6:18, ἀγρυπνοῦντες watching is used, on which see Mark 13:33.

Therein (ἐν αὐτῇ)

In prayer. Compare thereunto, Ephesians 6:18.

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