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 Post Post subject: Devotions - Thursday, October 25th, 2007
Posted: Thu Oct 25, 2007 7:02 am 
Catspaw knows all

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Bible Reading: Colossians 4

Good morning my friends,

It is interesting what Paul gives as his final instructions to the Colossians:

"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too ..."

Paul does not tell them to simply pray, he tells them to devote themselves to it. There are two things that he includes with this attitude of devotion; watchfulness and thankfulness. It leaves us with the impression that prayer is not something we do in emergencies or when we get a chance to do it but instead it is a discipline. Soldiers have to practice their skills all the time to be ready for battle. It requires a great deal of discipline. Anything that requires skill requires discipline. Prayer is no different although it is different.

Prayer is our greatest weapon for more reasons than it changes things. With each moment we spend in conversation with the Lord we grow stronger in our relationship. So as we use prayer to bring about changes around us we too are being changed. Prayer is not a mechanical thing in the same way jogging is. Prayer is a relationship and that relationship requires discipline.

For some of you it may seem strange to refer to discipline in relationship because relationship is a breathing, growing thing that takes place as we move through our day. We may think that our marriages, families and friendships do not require discipline but for many of us they do. I need a discipline in place to insure that I am spending the time I need with those I must be growing close with. I actually have to purposefully set aside time for my wife or we will not get time together. I have formed the discipline of getting breakfast ready in the morning for my family so I begin my day with my family. As a family we are re-establishing our meal times as our family time. Everyone helps out with preparing supper. Everyone eats together. Everyone helps out with clean up. It is a discipline that helps us spend time together, joking, laughing, working together. It is no different with prayer.

We require a discipline with our prayers so that we do not neglect our responsibility to be watchful and thankful and so our relationship will grow as we work with the Lord in his work. If we see it as our responsibility to petition for the people and situations around us we will understand better what Paul is stating here. Prayer is a mysterious thing in that God requires us to prayer so that we will be involved with his work. It is like when I bring my children grocery shopping. I don't need them but in doing the task together we are growing together. The Father has tied his work in with us, with our prayers. It is a strange and wonderful thing but are we even aware of this fact? I think if we were aware we would be more devoted to being watchful and thankful.

We can understand about being watchful, but why thankful? Because the attitude of a thankful heart unlocks many things in our relationship with God. It also changes our perspective in many situations. It lifts us above the circumstances and allows us to see clearer the will of the Father which lends strength to our prayers. Thanksgiving keeps us in a place of praise and worship, keeping us on the Lord's side in all situations, removing any doubt from us and allows us to present solid petitions in all situations. Remember some of these strong calls to a diligent life of prayer:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6-7)

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone- for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, 4who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. (1 Timothy 2:1-3)

And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise him up. If he has sinned, he will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. (James 5:15-16)

Imagine if we were devoted as Paul desired for us to be devoted what could happen all around us. Imagine. Now stop imagining and do it. Unlike other things prayer is definitely a matter of choice. Let us choose to be devoted to it.

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