The verse that you quoted, Colossians 4:12, makes it plain that prayer is a work. In fact, it is a good work such as what we read about in Ephesians 2:10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” After we trust Christ as our Savior, God’s will for us is to do many good works such as praying for unbelievers as well as believers.

A follow-up question could be, “People get saved by praying to God for salvation. If prayer is a work, then are we saved by doing a good work?” The answer is no, we are not saved by doing a good work. As we read in Ephesians 2:8, 9, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.” Prayer in itself does not save anyone. Salvation is a matter of the heart. As we read in Romans 10:10, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness.”

I am reminded of two men that prayed in Luke 18:10-14. “Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week, I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.”

Both the Pharisee and the publican prayed. However, the Pharisee prayed with pride in his heart while the publican humbled himself before God and acknowledged that he was a sinner.  Which is it with you, dear reader? Have you repented of your sin by having a change of mind about your sin as this publican did? Have you trusted in the Lord Jesus as your Savior? What is needed for salvation is “repentance toward God, and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 20:21).

After we are saved, then we have the privilege to pray many times a day to our wonderful God. In fact, we are promised in James 5:16, “Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.” Prayer is powerful! We read in 1 John 5:14, 15, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask any thing according to His will, He heareth us: And if we know that He hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him.”  As we read in Colossians 4:2, let us “Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving.”  (342.2)  (DJ)