I was looking through Colossians this morning (tracking down some of the things Paul says about the dangers of a disordered mind), and I noticed two things.

Prayer

First, the epistle begins and ends with a discussion of prayer.

Colossians 1:3We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you…

Colossians 1:9, For this cause, we also, since the day we heard this, don’t cease praying and making requests for you, that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding…

Colossians 4:2Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving…

Colossians 4:12, Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, salutes you, always striving for you in his prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

(The picture of striving or contending in prayer is stunning. God grant the we could all be described this way.)

Thankfulness

Second, there is a theme of “Thanksgiving” that runs through the letter. Thanksgiving, in fact, shows up in some particularly important discussions, and is given to us by Paul as one of the chief marks of the Christian mind and life.

Consider these verses:

Colossians 1:3, We give thanks to God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you…

Colossians 2:6-7, As therefore you received Christ Jesus, the Lord, walk in him, rooted and built up in him, and established in the faith, even as you were taught, abounding in it in thanksgiving.

Colossians 3:15-17, And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body, and be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; in all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your heart to the Lord. Whatever you do, in word or in deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father, through him.

Colossians 4:2, Continue steadfastly in prayer, watching in it with thanksgiving

As we consider what it means to be Christians is these last days, it is good to remember that our minds and hearts and lives are marked with thankfulness to God for all His benefits in Christ.

Also, I was reminded once again how helpful it is to read through entire books in one setting. The difference connections are easier to see.

Thoughts? I’d be thankful to hear them.

PrBW