Monday, June 18

Devote yourself to prayer

Scripture: 1 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 18-19, Colossians 4

Colossians 4:2-3 Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.  3 At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the word, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains, 4 so that I may make it known as I should.

Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ Jesus, sends you greetings.  He is always wrestling for you in his prayers, so that you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.  

Observation

Paul wraps up this letter with some practical commands, starting with this: devote yourselves to prayer.  The Greek word translated “devote” means “to be busily engaged in, to be devoted to, to continue or persevere in.”  It is used of being devoted to prayer in Acts 1:14, 6:4, Romans 12:12, and here.  

Paul also asks for prayer for his efforts to share the gospel.  And he mentions Epaphras who is “wrestling for you in his prayers” with the intended result that, “you can stand mature and fully assured in everything God wills.”  Clearly, Paul believed that prayer was effective; God answers prayer!

Application

The obvious application is that we should be devoted to prayer!  I need to pray more!  

Early this morning, I received a text string from a few our leaders who said they were up early praying for our church and leaders.  One of them responded, “I know that is the most important and effective thing we can be doing.”  I think Paul would agree.  And yet I’m often too busy to pray.

Last week when I was with some friends in Oregon, I watched Jim Thomas every morning open his Bible and read, then open his journal and pray.  He has a list of people he prays for each day.  I was moved by his devotion to prayer, and thought, “I can do better.”  

What keeps me from praying more devotedly?  Busyness.  And lack of faith.  I don’t really believe prayer is the most effective thing I can do—if I did, I’d pray more! 

My goal this week is to set aside time to pray and devote myself to prayer.

Prayer: Lord forgive me that I think what I do is more important than what You can do!  I’m going to pray more—meet me there and change me!