When I made the decision to be a music therapist, I knew that meant that I would need to get accepted into a music school. I also realized that I had become complacent in my practice habits and I wasn't taking private lessons. I found a very good teacher who pushed me very hard. I knew that I would need to come to my lessons prepared, so I began practicing with more purpose and vision during my Senior year in high school. I became much more devoted to music, even listening more to classical music so I could better understand what I was studying. I ended up going to my first choice school for music therapy because of the time I spent practicing that year. The verses I am looking at tells us that our prayer life should be that important; please read Colossians 4:2-4.
Have you ever known someone that had an incredible prayer life? This is the person who tells you that they will pray for you, and you know that they will. In fact, they usually will not even wait to go home to pray for you, they will pray with you right then and there and then they will keep you in prayer during their own personal time with God. This person seems to have a desire and need to be in prayer with God all the time! They are probably the person that came to mind when you read the phrase, "Devote yourselves to prayer..." But these verses are not just talking to that person; they are telling all believers to be devoted to prayer. The Greek word translated as "devote yourselves" can also mean to be constantly ready or to persevere. I think the idea of constantly being ready is interesting, because prayer really does make us ready for whatever is happening.
Paul also wrote that we are to be in prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart. The word translated as alert is grēgoreō which means to take caution or heed lest one fall into remission and see calamity (see footnote 1). I find this interesting because I just finished the James: Mercy Triumphs study by Beth Moore last night. The very last sentence in James 5 is "My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins." We are being reminded that any one of us could wander away from the truth and prayer is something we can do to stay in line with God. Our thankfulness to God is also something that can remind us of where we are and where we were without Him.
One other point I want to make is that Paul asked for prayer for himself. We are to continue to pray not only for ourselves, but we are to be in prayer for other believers as well. We can pray that other believers will not fall away but Paul was even asking specifically for prayer that he would continue to have opportunities to share the Gospel. He had no idea how many people God was going to reach despite his prison sentence! For thousands of years, so many people received encouragement and understood the Gospel through the letters that God wrote through him! Prayer is more powerful than we can understand is so important to do.
Are you devoted to prayer?
This post is linked with Faith Filled Friday.
1. Blue Letter Bible. "Dictionary and Word Search for grēgoreō (Strong's 1127)". Blue Letter Bible. 1996-2012. 16 Mar 2012. < http:// www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1127&t=NLT >