Tuesday, June 18

Devote yourself to prayer

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

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

Observation/application

Paul wrote this sentence on prayer to the church at Colossae, to ordinary Christians—not just to pastors or leaders.  As a Christian, I’m to devote myself to prayer, being watchful and thankful.

“Devote yourself.”  The Greek word means “to continue to do something with intense effort; to devote oneself to something, to persist in, to keep on; to continue steadfastly and give unremitting attention to something; to busy oneself with.”  Evidently, prayer is a big deal and we’re to be consistently engaged in this conversation with God.  For me, this means regular times devoted to prayer, when I’m doing nothing else other than talking with God; and it means keeping up the conversation all through the day.  

“Being watchful.”  The Greek word means “to stay awake, to be continually alert and ready to learn; to be watchful; to be vigilant and expectant (rather than lax and indifferent).”  When I ride my motorcycle, I’m watchful.  I’m awake, alert, and watching attentively what’s around me, looking for animals, and watching other drivers.  I’m to bring that same alertness, attentiveness and watchfulness to prayer—watching for what God wants to say and do.

“Being thankful.”  The Greek word means “to be thankful, grateful and to express it in thanksgiving.”  Our conversations with God should overflow with gratitude.  Last week when I was on my bike, I spent one entire 8 hour ride praying, singing, listening to God.  And gratitude was woven through the whole thing—constant thanksgiving.  I am so grateful for the life He has given me in Jesus!  

Michael spoke beautifully on prayer this past weekend—he gave me lots to think about and put into practice: pray regularly, pray audaciously, pray relationally.  So this verse stood out in part because of his sermon.  

And it stood out because of my own recent experiences in prayer and the Lord speaking to me about being attentive, being fully in the moment, whether it’s when I’m with people or alone with Him.  I tend to be future oriented, and I’m often thinking ahead rather than being fully in the moment and being attentive right now.  This verse calls us to be attentive in prayer—expectant, watching for God to speak.  That’s what I’m working on.

Prayer: Lord, help me today to be devoted to prayer, both in my set-aside time with You and all day long.  Help me to be watchful and attentive, and full of gratitude!  I look forward to hearing what You have to say today!