Wednesday, June 17

Devoted to prayer

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

Colossians 4:2 Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.

Observation/application

Paul tells the Christians at Colossae to devote themselves to prayer.  These are ordinary Christians—not professional Christians or super saints.  Every Christian is to be devoted to prayer.  

What does that mean?  The word “devote” translates the Greek word proskartereo, which literally means “to be strong toward.”  It meant “to persist in something, to be busily engaged in or devoted to, to continue in or persevere in something.”  To continue to do something with intense effort despite difficulty.

Give yourself or devote yourself to the work of prayer.  Persist in prayer.  Give it your best effort.  Keep at it despite difficulty.  And make no mistake—it will be difficult.  I am easily distracted.  And prayer is hard work.  In fact, later in the chapter, Paul writes: 

Colossians 4:12–13 Epaphras, who is one of you and a servant of Christ Jesus, sends greetings. He is always wrestling in prayer for you, that you may stand firm in all the will of God, mature and fully assured. 13 I vouch for him that he is working hard for you and for those at Laodicea and Hierapolis.

Recently, a dear friend’s wife suffered a medial crisis and as I prayed for her, the Lord said, “Pray for her like it was your wife.”  I realized that I would pray differently for my wife, my child, myself—more intensely, earnestly, persistently.  It was a good reminder for me to wrestle in prayer.  Give it my best.

We are to be devoted to prayer with “an alert mind and a thankful heart.”  We are to be watchful and thankful.  Eyes wide open.  And always grateful to God.

I want to be a better pray-er.  I’ve been following Jesus for 55 years, and I’ve always felt this way.  Now, more than ever.

Prayer: Lord, teach me to pray.  Help me be a better prayer: devoted to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart.