Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Devoted To Prayer
Col. 4:2 ¶ Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
Col. 4:3 At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison,
Col. 4:4 so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.
In these final words of instructions to the church in Colossae we discover what is really important for a Christ follower. They are to be devoted to a life of prayer but not a prayer life that dulls the senses, but instead a prayer life that makes one alert. Prayer is to be filled with thanksgiving and prayer for others, and while praying for others we must pray for doors to be opened to spreading the word and that the message may be clearly understood.
Do we really understand what prayer is all about? So often our prayer lists are filled with concerns for those who are sick. It's not wrong to pray for those who are sick but if that becomes the extent of our prayer lives we are missing out on the big the picture! Prayer is supposed to be about us as people -- we are to be a people of prayer. Our churches are to be houses of prayer. Prayer is about spending intimate time in the presence of Jesus and it is through this intimacy in prayer that we are transformed. That's why Paul thought it was so important for the people in Colossae. They needed to be a people of prayer!
We need to be a people of prayer so that we can experience the transforming power of the Holy Spirit working in our lives. This transformation will help us to be alert to what is happening around us. This includes being attentive to the possibility of temptations which may come at us at breakneck speed, or it may help us to see the open doors of opportunity to spread the mystery of Christ. Being engaged as a faithful follower of Christ requires us to be alert!
At the same time we are to have a spirit, or an attitude of thanksgiving. This means that we should come before the Lord with our praises and words of thanks. How often do we do that? I'm afraid not very often -- we jump right into the bunion prayer requests!!! What would happen if we turned our prayers around and spent most of our time in thanksgiving before him? I believe that would be transformational! It's meant to be transformational -- because God is to be praised and worshipped and thanked in our prayers.
Finally it seems that many people tell me that they have never led anyone to the Lord, nor would they know how. The secret is right here in what Paul has to say. Paul says to make this a matter of prayer. I'm guessing that one reason we don't make it a matter of prayer is that we are afraid that God might answer the prayer and then we'd have to speak up! But if we would make sharing Christ a matter of prayer we would be surprised by the open doors and then the right words that God would give us to speak. Usually it takes very little speaking for the Holy Spirit does the speaking and the prodding in the heart of the individual.
As Christ followers we are to be devoted to prayer. We must make prayer a priority in our lives for without it we will die spiritually. If the word of God is our spiritual food, then prayer is our very breath. We might be able to go without food for a short period of time, but if we do not pray, we will be suffocated by the things of this world. This wasn't meant to be a harsh command, but rather being devoted to prayer is the solution for life.
Lord, please help me to be a woman of prayer, devoted to you. Amen.