Give yourself to prayer
Give yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. Colossians 4:2
Do you pray? If someone were to ask you about prayer, would you know how to give some pointers? Most people would say “yes, I know how to pray”. Certainly, it isn’t difficult, and anyone can pray that wants to. You don’t need an appointment, you don’t need a special invitation and you don’t need an introduction. All you need to do is have a conversation with your Creator. God doesn’t turn anyone away. Even in the case of Cornelius, who was the first gentile to receive salvation after Jesus’ resurrection, God heard his prayer before he received salvation. (see Acts 10) God hears our prayers and not only that, He looks and listens for them. Not just some of the time, but all the time. He is always listening, but He is always guiding and directing too. It is up to you to shut down and listen for His counsel. This is what today’s scripture is referring to by being alert. You “tune in” or are listening for what He is speaking to your heart.
Today’s verse talks about giving yourself or devoting time to prayer. It also instructs us to be alert when we pray, for God’s response. The verse ends with an admonishing to be thankful. (which is part of praying) So, what does it mean to devote or give yourself to prayer? Is it spending all your time talking to God? Is it just talking to God when you have a need or is it about only praying when you feel super spiritual? Yes! And no!. Yes, because we can talk to God all the time, anytime. We can be in a running conversation with Him as we walk through our day. Yes, we do talk to Him when we have a need or problem that we need help with. No, because you don’t have to be feeling super spiritual to go before Him in prayer. You can talk to Him when you are feeling discouraged and disappointed too.
The real meaning of devoting yourself to prayer is about having a special time with God. Setting time aside, everyday, to talk with God about all the different areas of your life. Getting His thoughts and involvement on all the choices you have to make that day and letting God have an entrance into the secret places of your life. Prayer is essential to your relationship with your Heavenly Father. Without it, you cannot have a relationship. Think about it, the thing that brings you closer in any relationship is the time you spend talking and listening to someone. How much more important is it in our relationship with our Father?
Devoting yourself to prayer is also being able to identify when you need to kick into prayer in times of urgency. When a crisis arises it is not the time to panic, it is the time to pray. It is important to know where your relationship with your Father is when difficult circumstances come. This is how you have confidence He is always ready to hear your call.
Today I want to encourage you to set some time aside to talk to God. This is a good place to start in your New Year planning. Schedule a time when no one else is around that you can talk to, listen to and give praise to Him. Get close to you Father in heaven by spending time with Him. Make it the priority of your day and your year. Lift up 2021 in prayer and ask for Him to get all the goodness and grace to you that He has planned, despite the outward circumstances of the year. Prayer is the essential part of your relationship with God and the most important part of your day.
Today’s scripture reading: Colossians 4:1-4