“Keep on Praying…with THANKSGIVING.”- Colossians 4:2

 Paul begins this verse with the commands, namely to –

Firstly – “KEEP PRAYING,”

Secondly“STAYING ALERT…” which are to be continuous, to be the habit of our lives.

The Third aspect in the verse – THANKSGIVING!


“WHY PRAY?” A young man recently came to me and asked “what is the use of praying…?” A great question. one I am sure many of us have asked over time, especially in seasons of lengthy trials. I shared with him from my own perspective when I don’t “feel” like praying, because of being disheartened, overwhelmed, weary, frequently sick, sleep deprived etc, I remind myself, I am to pray because God commands me to {Col 4:2.} I am to pray because in doing so I am expressing LOVE TO GOD. Jesus said,”he who has My commandments and OBEYS them he it is who LOVES Me.” – {John 14:21}. Our obedience is an expression of love to Him. Thirdly, praying glorifies God when accompanied with thanksgiving as with the one leper who returned glorified God and Jesus shows he did so by giving Thanks! – {Read Luke 17:11-19; Phil 4:6; Col 4:2.} Fourthly, Thanksgiving -“is the will of God for you, In Christ”- {1 Thess 5:16-18.} Every time we thank the Lord He is glorified! This should motivate us to shower GOD in our praying with thanksgiving!

WHY PRAY? * God commands us to. {Col 4:2} * We express love to Him as we choose to obey His command to pray – {John 14:21}* Praying with thanksgiving Glorifies God. -{Luke 17:15}* Thanksgiving is the will of God for us “In Christ.” -{1 Thess 5:18}.  Note in the above answers it has nothing to do with my ever changing “feelings” but choosing by God’s grace and at times falteringly so to avail of it…I seek to pray… because of what I see from God’s Word.

7 REASONS REACHING OUT -We turn to Colossians, Paul was in prison and we learn a valuable lesson straight away.

difficulties need not dampen, NOR IMPEDE your reaching out to Others!

Paul reached out through a letter wrote to encourage them concerning The Sufficiency of Christ, and in this letter he also teach’s them about Thanksgiving. Chapter 2 shows us how the errors of false teaching was trying to detract from Christ – His perfect finished work by introducing the “need” of humanism, legalism, mysticism and asceticism as substitutes needed to be “spiritual” and  Christ Himself  they said was deficient, and apart from these “works” of flesh, believers were deficient. Paul’s response  was to not only expose error but edify the believes with truth!  He tells the believers in 2:10 they were “complete” – which means the “state of no deficiency.” There was no state of deficiency in their salvation because there was no state of deficiency in their Savior, Jesus the Lord. Paul continues and says their sins have been “cancelled.” The word  means “erased”- 2:13-14; Col 3:12 they were “chosen” by God- before the foundation of the world- Eph 1:4; They were “Holy” set apart by God for Himself and service; They were “Beloved” and in light of their sufficient Savior and position he now address the  privilege they have in prayer to speak to God because of the blood of the Lord Jesus. Prayer is costly! Prayer is a privilege. Prayer is to be practiced. Paul wants them to develop a HABIT of thanksgiving to God

Note, Paul in the book of Colossians gives 7 Reasons to Be Thankful. So join with me as we look at CULTIVATING THANKFULNESS IN OUR PRAYING…and BE ENCOURAGED!!

PRAYING….with THANKSGIVING… {How to cultivate a heart of thankfulness…}



Paul begins in verse 3 directing his thanks to God for the believers. Note he specifically thanks GOD for their…FAITH in the Lord…LOVE for all God’s people…Hope…their RECEPTION of God’s Word and the EVIDENCES of a fruitful spiritual life. He SPECIFICALLY Thinks and THANKS GOD for what is evident in the lives of the saints . “WE GIVE THANKS TO GOD THE FATHER of our Lord Jesus, praying always for you SINCE WE HEARD…” 1:3


NOTE– He then communicates to the believers in a letter… thank God for what is seen in others…take time to COMMUNICATE THIS TO OTHERS TO  ENCOURAGE them. This is not “flattery” but a genuine appreciation and affirmation of the work of God in and THROUGH their lives. You be a “Paul” to them by choosing to recognize GOD’S WORK AND AFFIRM THE, by building them up in their faith!

Q- What specifically is it that you see God has and is doing in the lives of His people that cause you to SPECIFICALLY THANK HIM FOR… as you pray for someone?

Q- Have you ever encouraged another believer by telling them specifically what you are thanking God for as you see His Work manifested in their lives? If not… now is a good time to start and encourage them. Use the means available to you, email, phone, tweet, speak to them. CHOSE to encourage someone in their faith TODAY!

I once was at a retreat and one of the assignments was for the young people who were split into small groups and did sports together, eat together, did Bible studies together, they spent a lot of time in various settings together. At the end of the week, they gathered and set in a circle and the assignment was to  go around the circle and say what they were thankful for in the other individuals…., it seemed easy for the  first couple, then there seemed to be a struggle of what to say, HOW TO COMMEND- it seemed “foreign”- because IT IS FOREIGN to us to Give appreciation. I watched and listened at times to silence, awkwardness, or repeat of things…was  hmm… a lot of fidgeting… it was VERY DIFFICULT FOR THEM… Why is that? Do you find it easier to fault-find and complain or to build people up and encourage them with the work of God- as it is being worked out in their lives? No one is perfect. I am not speaking of that. But there are reasons to be thankful for the saints. The church at Corinth was a mess…yet Paul in chapter 1 found reasons to thank God for what qualities he could commend in them…and he told them! Observe…Be thankful to GOD…encourage His people! Commend what is Commendable and tell them of your observations of the LORD at work in their lives by specific evidences displayed!

ALPHABET F PRAYER; Sometimes, as a recent morning I awoke feeling very low, sickly and just feeling nothing emotionally as it were. To kick start my prayer in thanks I use the alphabet and for each letter I trust the Lord to bring to mind and think of a name of a believer and thank God for them, working my way through the alphabet. Perhaps this may help you… in days when you don’t “feel” like praying or know “what” to pray …perhaps you can try this. For THANKSGIVING …GLORIFY’S GOD!- The One leper who came back and gave the Lord Jesus THANKS, He said Glorified God.. So if you Give specific thanks for HIS PEOPLE and use the Alphabet as a means to help you FOCUS your thoughts, if you find it helpful .. How many times is that you have GLORIFIED Him in giving thanks:) -See Luke 17:11-19



 To the FATHER …he thanks Him for salvation. He uses words such as “authorized.” God the Father has “AUTHORIZED”{“QUALIFIED”} their salvation. He has gifted them an “INHERITANCE”… “RESCUED us from the domain of darkness…TRANSFERRED us to the kingdom of His Beloved Son…. in whom we HAVE REDEMPTION…. THE FORGIVENESS of sins… These are reasons to be named studied and ultimately to come before God in your praying and “…joyously GIVING THANKS to the Father….” for the Father’s salvation.

APPLICATION – THANK God your FATHER now for the 6 aspects of salvation highlighted in this verse! -“Authorized {qualified}; Inheritance; Rescue; Transferred; Redemption; Forgiveness! Grammatically it is to continuously be giving thanks. It is an evidence of  spiritually maturing. When is the last time He has heard you say “Thank You Father for saving, rescuing, delivering, forgiving me?”



4 participles in the Greek describe a healthy Believer. The first participle has to do with the new birth as seen in the words “firmly rooted” and speaks of the initial reception of new life. The other participles which follow speak of the progress- or the outworking of THIS NEW spiritual life, namely… been “built up” like a building; “increasingly stable in ” their faith and constantly being THANKFUL. A CONSTANTLY THANKFUL individual is a mark of spiritual maturity and progressing in the faith! Growing in giving thanks… is a mark of really making progress



The Peace of Christ is Personified in the Person of Christ- Ephesians 2:14… “for He Himself is OUR PEACE!” B. – The Peace of Christ is a State- Rom 5:1 “therefore we have PEACE WITH God Through our Lord Jesus Christ.” C. – The Peace of Christ is an Emotion– “Let the Peace of Christ RULE IN YOUR HEARTS”

To “Rule” speaks of an umpire who makes the decision. To call a play in or out of play. So the Peace of Christ- all that is in accordance with His nature… His Word by His SPIRIT will “Rule” in decision making. For example sin will forfeit the peace of Christ experientially as it is not consistent with Him or His Word. BE THANKFUL FOR THE “PEACE OF CHRIST” – His calming of the mind and heart.


     5. BE THANKFUL FOR THE WORD OF CHRIST– which produces a song in the heart – 3:16

  • The Word of Christ can “save you”- Col 1:6
  • The Word of Christ; will “free you up”-John 8:32
  • The Word of Christ will “Build you up”-Acts 20:23
  • The Word of Christ will “Wise you up”- Heb 5:13-14
  • The Word of Christ will equip you to be sufficient to help others- Col 3:16
  • The Word of Christ- “reveals” Jesus Christ “to you”-Luke 24:27, 45
  • Give thanks continually for “the Word of Christ” which produces a “song in your heart unto the Lord!” His Word producing Joy, delight, satisfaction!{CHECK For ACCURACY}

Based on the above verses, you can Turn those Thoughts of truth into a prayer of Thanksgiving to God! “Thank You LORD, for Your Word which is able to save, free up, build up, Wise up, equip, reveal Jesus Christ, and produce Joy…Thank You!” In Thanking Him specifically for those aspects of His Word you have not only glorified Him seven times but have done the “will of God, In Christ.” Which is in everything give thanks!{Read 1 Thess 5:16-18}. How we too often make glorifying God so, so, difficult and mystical when His Word reveals how we can practically  do so, and one way is the giving Him…Thanks!



Paul narrows down that all life that is done whether by work or word can be summarized in this. Do it all in alignment with His character… His Word and Be thankful and Give thanks… that you can. It is not about your occupation, favorable or unfavorable circumstances. But realize wherever you are, you can Give God Thanks! You have the capacity to obey and you choose to obey out of gratitude… to Him!



What is it that will keep you praying fervently and not becoming spiritually sleepy or dull but alert to the spiritual realities around you of the souls of men, the honor of Christ etc? Giving Thanks

Thanksgiving is the oil as it were to keep the engine going…

Paul then goes on to ask for PRAYER for him for opportunities to share the Gospel with clarity!

CHOOSE TO Be Thankful to GOD in your praying!

  1. – Be Thankful for the SAINTS -and SPECIFICALLY what is true of them – 1:3-7
  2. – Be Thankful for the Father’s Salvation 1:12-14
  3. – Be Thankful for Spiritual Progress – 2:6
  4. – Be Thankful for the Peace of Christ – 3:15
  5. -Be Thankful for the Word of Christ that produces a song in your heart to God – 3:16
  6. -Be Thankful For the ability to do all in the name of Christ- 3:17
  7. -Be SATURATING Praying with Thanksgiving – 4:2

By using the 7 Reasons to help CULTIVATE a Heart of thanksgiving IN YOUR praying

PERSONALIZE THE ABOVE…”I am Thankful to You LORD for…” and list the 7 Blessings.

Why Pray?

  •  God commands us to.
  • We express love to Him as we choose to obey His command to pray
  • Praying with thanksgiving Glorifies God. When you thank God ten times, God is GLORIFIED TEN TIMES. If you thank Him for three specific believers and the love you see them do, God is glorified three times. God shows us HOW TO PRACTICALLY GLORIFY HIM.
  •  Thanksgiving is the will of God for us “In Christ.” It is time for us to CHANGE THE way we THINK…THINK on the TRUTH and SPEAK THIS TRUTH to others in reaching out to them to influence them in a good way in regards reasons  to Give Thanks to God in their praying. Share the above list with someone to encourage them to pray, express love to GOD, GLORIFY HIM IN DOING SO. DOING GOD’S WILL WHEN WE DO!- FOR THIS IS HIS WILL FOR THEM AND ME AND YOU…. “DEVOTE YOURSELVES TO PRAYER, STAYING ALERT, WITH  THANKSGIVING.”

 Paul in the Book of Colossians GIVES 7 Reasons to help develop Thanksgiving to God IN your Praying…
1. – Be Thankful for the SAINTS -and SPECIFICALLY what is true of them – 1:3-7
2. – Be Thankful for the Father’s Salvation 1:12-14
3. – Be Thankful for Spiritual Progress – 2:6
4. – Be Thankful for the Peace of Christ – 3:15
5. – Be Thankful for the Word of Christ – 3:16
6. – Be Thankful For the ability to do all in the name of Christ- 3:17
7. – Be SATURATING Praying with Thanksgiving – 4:2

*** For those of you who like to write notes in your Bible. You could write the 7 references beside each verse to remind yourself of what to be thankful for when you pray and also to SHARE with others 7 reasons of -What and How to be thankful in prayer!