Bible Verse: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2
Scripture Reading: Romans 13:11-14; Ephesians 5:8-15; 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As the Apostle Paul was finishing his letter to the church at Colossae, he penned a sincere and urgent directive to the church: “Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” If it’s true that we often save our most important words for our conclusion, we should give these instructions special attention.
“Devote yourselves to prayer…”
What does Scripture mean by “devote”? Its use here means “to continue steadfastly, to give oneself continually.” Using this context, a man “devoted” to prayer would be a man who prays faithfully and perseveres in his prayer life – even when prayer is neither convenient nor comfortable. We need to be men who are devoted to prayer in this way.
Notice how the Scripture admonishes us to “devote yourselves”? God won’t do this for you. Take a moment and think about all the things you can devote yourself to over a lifetime. We devote ourselves to careers, family, relationships, hobbies, sports teams, etc. You get the picture. Once we attach ourselves to a task, an event, or even a brand, we pride ourselves on our loyalty – through the good and hard times (insert your favourite sports team here). God wants you to be devoted to a prayer life like that. He wants you to use your instinctive drive to stick to a task and see it through, and apply it to your prayer life.
The task of praying must include vigilance – watchfulness. We can’t afford to get spiritually sleepy and complacent. We must stay attentive and bring life’s issues – regarding ourselves and others – to God in prayer. When you are on watch duty spiritually, you will not allow the worldly culture around you to lull you to sleep and inaction.
We must remain thankful to keep our prayer life balanced. In all our devotion and watchfulness, we can’t become ungrateful, negative Christians. The best defence against becoming a crank or a complainer is to become a man who constantly gives thanks to God. Stay thankful to God for what He has done and for what He is doing now, especially while you are waiting for answers to your prayers.
Prayer: Father, I want to devote myself to prayer. I want to remain watchful and not become complacent spiritually. I want to become more thankful as I build my prayer life with you. Help me to do these tasks and be faithful in them with the help of your Holy Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Reflection: What are you devoted most to right now? Take an inventory and consider what matters most to you, what you are most loyal to. Make a plan to start devoting yourself to prayer with the same commitment and consider what that could look like in your life.
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