Corporate Continuing Prayer
Continuing Prayer with Thanksgiving
Recently the Lord strongly impressed us with a scripture in Colossians 4:2, "Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving." This was saying to us that in our praying in the Spirit, which is praying with our spirit in union with the Holy Spirit, we must "watch" in our prayers, and we must "watch... with thanksgiving." Thus we begin to understand that we must continue and persevere, be earnest and devoted in our prayers; and in this persevering prayer, we must "watch" - we must be alert, guarded, and circumspect.
Brethren, to watch effectively in prayer we must learn to be circumspect, which means we must [by faith] through the eyes of the Holy Spirit see the full circumference of things. We must view things to the farthest point, which includes ALL OF GOD'S FULL PLAN AND PURPOSE IN THE CHRIST, and we must simultaneously watch against the enemy's activity to stop it! Therefore, in order to intercede effectively according to God's Purpose, we must not be pressed down to our own circumference of things - our own small world of problems, crises, joys, etc.
Furthermore, Colossians 4:2 tells us that we must do this praying and watching "with thanksgiving." In this scripture the way the phrase, "with thanksgiving," is used denotes that it is an equal proportion of the three things stated here:
1. Continuing Prayer;
2. Watching in the Same;
3. With Thanksgiving.
These three parts are designating that each one of the three are equal in measure and in proportion and in importance; it takes all three to make up the whole of effectual prayer. Therefore, "with thanksgiving" is the accompanying power that gives "Continuing prayer, and watching in the same ..." the symmetry [balanced proportion and the corresponding harmony] needed to bring about and produce God's intended results. In Moule's Colossian Studies he adequately paraphrases this scripture, and he expresses how the three are equal parts that make up the whole of effectual prayer:
"At your prayer, prayer in all the width and depth of its meaning, worship as well as petition, persevere; prayer is indeed a rest and joy, but it is also a duty, a work, a ministry, and so it calls for purpose and persistency; watching in it, keeping wakeful "in" the strength of the holy exercise, against sin and for God, in thanksgiving; letting the spirit and action of gratitude as it were surround your watching and praying lives. Too often is thanksgiving forgotten especially when the believer is under trial; let him recollect its preciousness and its power, and never pray without it. If there is nothing else for which he can give thanks, he has always God in Christ, and he has 'that blessed Hope," and he has the trial itself, which is sure to e somehow "precious".
Christ is the ultimate example and full expression of praying and watching "with thanksgiving": - a thanksgiving that is the mighty force and accompanying power which, when united with prayer in the Spirit and watching in the same, becomes a vital and intricate portion of the preordained plan of the Father through the Son. The Lord's travail in the Garden of Gethsemane expresses for us these equal proportions of prayer. It is through His experience in Gethsemane that we will come to know that the accompanying power of thanksgiving, which is needed in our praying and watching, has its source in the depths of Christ's own Spirit and Soul - in His heart and affections, in the depths of His desire, in the bowels of His mercies, in the innermost parts of His Being which is the Spirit of God's Beloved Son.
(continued with # 10)