“Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving”
“Continue earnestly in prayer”
The word “continue” means steadfast and denotes to continue steadfastly in a thing and give unremitting care to it (e.g., Rom.13:6 of rulers).
“Continue” first meant to be strong towards, to endure in, persevere in. It came to mean adhere to, persist in, to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of despite difficulty. It means to devote oneself to, to keep on, to persist in. Literally, it means to set our face toward a goal with strength.
Acts 1:14 and Romans 12:12 use “continue” of persisting in prayer with others. Acts 2:42,46 uses “continue” for continuing in the Apostles’ teaching (Acts 2:42,46).
Romans 13:6 uses “continue” of the persistent activity of the tax collector! If we had the tenacious dedication of the tax collector in prayer, we would probably have revival in our lives.
The present tense of “continue” further emphasizes the idea of persistence of prayer.
It is remarkable how often the Bible talks about the necessity of daily exercise in Christian disciplines. The Bereans were said to be “noble” because they daily searched the Scriptures (Acts 17:10-12). The psalmist cried unto the Lord daily (Ps. 86:3). Paul challenges the believer to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17). Jesus said to “take up our cross daily” (Lk 9:23).
God wants us to guard against an irregularity in our prayer life.
Prayer is a task from which other things can easily deflect us.
We will slip in our prayer life unless we develop persistence in prayer. Have we fallen asleep in prayer? If we have, we need to wake up.
Prayer prepares us for whatever we may face. It prepares us for ministry. Everything we do, we must bathe in prayer. That is why we need to continue in it. Prayer is no luxury or something to use in emergencies. A Christianity that operates only on emergencies is not true Christianity. Prayer is no convenience for a crisis. God intends prayer as a method of constant fellowship with himself.
God wants us to persist in prayer, no matter what may come our way. God sustains our prayer life by his promises (Ps. 116:1,2; Jer. 33:3; Isa 65:24; Mt. 7:7,8; 18:19; 21:22; Mk 11:24; Jn 14:13,14; Heb. 4:16). Prayer is an important expression of faith. The Christian life calls for great exercise of faith. Prayer is an important exercise of faith. Faith utilizes the promises of God. Faith reaches into the 7,000 promises of God, picks up these promises, and uses them in spiritual warfare. Prayer is an extension of faith.
God has installed a line whereby we can have direct access to him at any time.