Tuesday, April 3, 2007


Greek Word Pronunciation: pros-kar-te-RAY-oh
Strong's Number: 4342
Goodrich/Kohlenberger Number: 4674
Key Verse: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” -- Colossians 4:2

Proskartereo is a compound verb consisting of pros meaning “toward” and kartereo meaning “to be strong.” Its meaning is to continue steadfastly in a thing and give unremitting care to it, to persevere, to be in constant readiness. In the Septuagint, it is found in Numbers 13:20 when Moses sent out spies to the land of Canaan telling them to “make an effort to get some of the fruit of the land. This verb appears 10 times in the New Testament. In Mark 3:9, Jesus told His disciples that a boat should stand ready for Him, keeping close to the shore when He needed it. In Acts 2:46, the disciples were continuing with one mind in the temple. It was their constant practice. In Acts 8:13, Simon continued on with Philip. He attached himself, followed him everywhere. In Acts 10:7, Cornelius summoned his servants who were his personal attendants (in KJV, it is translated “waited on him continually”). In Romans 13:6, “rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves” to their tasks of governmental service.

The remaining 5 verses all make reference to believers devoting themselves to prayer. In Acts 1:14, the disciples were continually devoting themselves to prayer. They “stuck to” the praying for God’s promise of the the Holy Spirit, until the answer came. In Acts 2:42, the baptized believers were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and prayer. In Acts 6:4, the apostles said they would devote themselves to prayer and the ministry of the word. It was to be their constant and main object, undistracted even by attention to the temporal needs of the church. In Romans 12:12, Paul commands the believers to be devoted to prayer. He wants them to be persevering in it continually, in order to maintain a joyful hope and be sustained in the midst of afflictions.

This same command is in COLOSSIANS 4:2, to “devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.” Without this, nobody could fulfill the duties which God required of them. John Gill says, “constant prayer is a means of keeping up a spiritual acquaintance and familiarity with God, and of the soul alive in the vigorous exercise of the graces of the Spirit, and of preserving the saints from temptations and sin.


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