The seemingly irreversible state of local, national and world affairs is often the topic as I interact with Christians in North America. Although the Bible predicts the Last Days will be characterized by evil reminiscent of the days of Noah, we must not succumb to hand-wringing or be paralyzed by fear.

The apostle Paul reveals an essential activity in which all Christians can and must engage to survive the perils of the times referenced in Matthew 24.

 “Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving . . .” (Col. 4:2).

Two words stand out in Paul’s teaching that communicate the need for prayer in light of challenges in the 21st century.

  • The first word translated “continue” (proskartereō) conveys the concept of devotion or dedication. Christians must give unwavering and persevering attention to prayer. Time spent in prayer is essential to victorious Christian living. Paul instructed the Thessalonian church to, “pray without ceasing” (1 Th. 5:17).
  • The second word translated “vigilant” (grēgoreō) denotes conversation, not rote activity. Prayer requires that Christians be alert, engaged, focused and informed.

Persistent focused prayer is also characterized by thanksgiving, which demonstrates authentic faith. If we are truly walking with the Lord, our prayers will include gratitude for what God has already done on our behalf and also expressions of thanks as we eagerly anticipate how He will answer petitions that loom large in life.

Christians are never left to numb disillusionment or hopeless despair. We have the privileged opportunity of approaching the God of creation in prayerat any moment—in any place! No detail is too small or any problem too great.

On this National Day of Prayer, make a commitment to designate time for prayer. Encourage others to join you for both scheduled and spontaneous moments to pray for the challenges we face today. And then, rest in the assurance that God is working on your behalf.


1) Pray About Everything All the Time. (Photo montage used for illustrative purposes) (Photo credits: Pixabay/Enhancements, MKM Portfolios)

Copyright © Charles E. McCracken, devotional comments only. Repost/Reprint with permission from the author. Scripture taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.