A construction company was doing some work in front of a church.
During the week, a large sign was displayed, which read,
"Spraying Machine At Work.”
On Saturday night, it rained heavily, and the first letter on the sign was obliterated, so that when the people came to church on Sunday morning, they were amused to see the sign read:
“Praying Machine At Work.”
The apostle Paul exhorted the believers to, “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant” (Colossians 4:2).
The word “vigilant” is translated elsewhere, “watchful.” It refers to the Old Testament watchmen whose responsibility it was to sit on the city wall, scan the horizon, and keep watch. They were the first ones to see anyone approaching, whether a caravan or enemies.
Paul is saying that people who pray are watchmen, seeing further than others. They also see things before others see them, and things others do not see.
In his book, The Hole In The Gospel, Richard Stearns wrote, “A colleague of mine at World Vision, John Rob, once wrote, ‘Wherever in the world there is significant development – people coming to Christ, health improvements, economic opportunities, adoption of kingdom values – it is the direct result of Christians praying.’”
James declared, “The effective prayer of a righteous man avails much” (5:16).
The word “effective” comes from a root word that means “a fixed position,” suggesting an unmovable mindset. “Fervent” speaks of being bold when praying.
Together, these two words speak of a convinced, undeterred attitude.
“Kneel down and be counted” (Morris Chapman).
Pastor David Arnold
Gulf Coast Worship Center
© 2012 Rev. David Arnold Ministries, All rights reserved.