Upward and Outward
Pray for a God’s-eye view of your Christian life, so that you can determine how to be more healthy and balanced.
Read Colossians 4:2-6
 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.  And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains.  Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.  Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.  Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone. Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
ReflectWhat does Paul ask the Colossians to do?
At a church event I attended a few years ago, the leader asked groups to form a physical representation of what we thought our church was like. My group stood in a circle, our left hands reaching in, up, and meeting and our right hands reaching out. In a way, today’s passage is a reflection of that picture of a church. Paul first encourages the Colossians to pray (2), so that they can avoid all he’s been warning them against and can maintain all he’s been teaching them to do. He also asks for prayer for his own mission, so that he, despite being in prison, may be clear about the Good News (3,4). Then Paul encourages them in their relationships outward: they should be characterized by Christ’s presence, grace, and wisdom and should proclaim him whenever they can (5,6). In the physical representation I mentioned above, we kept turning our heads to look in and out, to indicate the continuity between the two areas of life. In the same way, prayer deepens our relationship with God and encourages us to engage in mission, which in turn points us back to God for his continual help and blessing.
Prayer or mission: which part of your life needs more attention right now, and why?
Make me a person who is grounded in You, Lord, at the same time I engage the world with Your love.