“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” (Colossians 4:2)
On any given day (particularly prior to Covid), a person has dozens, if not hundreds, of encounters with other people. For the most part, those encounters are either neutral or positive encounters. But it is astonishing how you can have one negative encounter and that single encounter has the capacity to ruin your entire day!
Think about that. Dozens to hundreds of neutral to positive encounters and yet the one encounter that stands out is the negative one.
That is the way it is with us. We don’t have to remind ourselves of the negative encounters. We don’t have to work at remembering them. Problems, negative encounters, struggles just rise up to our top concern without any effort on our part.
Because we are that way, we have to train our minds to be watchful and thankful. God provides us with so many reasons to be thankful for. But our default mode is to allow negative encounters to color our days.
Our text gives us three pointers on how to retrain our minds.
- Devote yourselves to prayer
- Be watchful
- Give thanks
Devote yourselves to prayer. When you devote yourself to something, you prioritize that thing above other things. When you are devoted to the Seahawks, you work your schedule around the game so that you don’t miss the Seahawks. We are told to devote ourselves to prayer. You have to prioritize and make the time to pray.
When you pray, be watchful. Look for the areas where God is at work. Once you start looking, you will see God’s finger print all over your day.
Today, my daughter was out to pick up my son in Dupont. As she was driving, the front right tire blew! I’ve experienced tires that go flat, but I’ve never seen a tire blow out. But that’s what happened to Kailey. The front right tire literally blew out! Thank God she was not on the freeway. Thank God she was in a neighborhood street when the tire blew. Things could have been bad. I found myself complaining about changing my schedule to help her change out the tire, when it dawned on me how amazingly grateful I was that she was not on the freeway.
When you pray, be watchful. Look for where God is at work.
When you pray with a watchful eye, gratitude is the byproduct. When you see God at work in your life, when you recognize the dozens and hundreds of neutral to positive encounters that enhance your day – the grocer who sets out the food so we can feed our families, the church staff who are working behind the scenes so you can have a fantastic worship experience, the teachers who work tirelessly under incredibly challenging situations so our children can learn and grow, the list is literally endless!
When you pray with a watchful eye, gratitude happens.
Devote yourselves to prayer. Be watchful. Give thanks.
Take the time right now to pray, watch, and give thanks. Tell God how much you appreciate him and thank him.