The Priority of Prayer in Colossians 4:2-4 -- By: James P. Sweeney

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 159:635 (Jul 2002)
Article: The Priority of Prayer in Colossians 4:2-4
Author: James P. Sweeney

The Priority of Prayer
in Colossians 4:2-4

James P. Sweeney

James P. Sweeney is Interim Pastoral Assistant, Immanuel Church, Chelmsford, Massachusetts.

Prayer is central to biblical piety. People of prayer in the Old Testament included, among others, Abraham (Gen. 20:17), Isaac (25:21), Jacob (32:9), Moses (Exod. 8:30), Hannah (1 Sam. 1:10; 2:1); David (2 Sam. 7:19–29), Solomon (1 Kings 8:22–53), Daniel (Dan. 9:4–19), and the psalmists (e.g., Pss. 4:1; 6:9; 17:1). Moreover, Jesus, the incarnate Son of God, often prayed (Mark 1:35; 6:46; 14:35, 39), and He taught His disciples how to pray (Matt. 6:5–13; Luke 11:1–4; 18:1–8).1

The early believers in Jerusalem, following the reception of the Holy Spirit on the Day of Pentecost, devoted themselves to prayer (Acts 2:42; cf. 4:31). Paul’s attention to prayer is expressed frequently in his letters (Rom. 1:10; 10:1),2 and the writers of the other New Testament letters are far from silent about the subject (Heb. 13:18–19; James 5:13–18; 1 Pet. 3:7, 12; 4:7; 1 John 5:16; Jude 20).3

This article focuses on Paul’s teaching about prayer in Colos-

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