Colossians 4:2--Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving.
I have neverencountered a mature Christian who is not strongly devoted to prayer. Certainly I know talented believers. There is a great abundance of disciples who are full of knowledge of the Bible and equipped with great people skills. I know many Christians who possess a solid business savvy and a knack for administrating. There is no shortage of believers who were raised in Christian homes and have faithfully attended church all their lives. But I have never encountered a mature Christian who is not devoted to prayer.
I would rather hang my coat with one genuine intercessor and strong prayer warrior than a thousand who consider prayer a precursor to eating and a transition to meeting. Why? Because the man or woman who is devoted to God as evidenced by an effective prayer life, knows the mind of Christ. To know the mind of Christ is to discern God’s will. It is the practice of prayer that teaches us about the character of God. It is the exercise of prayer that builds up our flabby spiritual muscles. It is the conduct of prayer that ushers us into the presence of the One who loves to fellowship with us. Without prayer, we are in danger of presumption and we teach others that it is our own hard work that accomplishes ministry.
I remember a preaching professor in seminary who drilled into us the importance of putting long hours into sermon preparation. His teaching was sound but it was devoid of any passion for God. His goal was to move the audience by the beauty of his sermons. He left his wife for another woman. Today, to my best knowledge, he has nothing to do with God or ministry.
“O God, teach us how to pray! Deepen our longing to come into Your holy presence!”
Are you discouraged? Do you claim spiritual “burn-out”? Have you lost your way? Are you going through the motions impressing people yet knowing your walk with God is flat? Friend, get on your knees right now! Resolve to establish daily time to meet with Your Father in heaven. Be devoted to prayer. Don’t talk about it—do it! If you need help, find someone else you know prays and become a prayer partner. Be cautious about praying to see God work—that is a weaker reason for going to Him. Pray to know God. Pray to discover His character and will for your life. If you and I will be faithful to pray, God will revitalize us. He will take us to a deeper understanding of Himself. Then He can use us for the work of His ministry. Then we can say ‘Glory!’ and know what it means!
Prayer is the way the life of God is nourished. It is impossible to conduct your life as a disciple without definite times of secret prayer . . . Prayer does not fit us for the greater works; prayer is the greater work.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
The effect of our prayers on ourselves is the building up of our character in the understanding of the character of God. That is why we need patience in prayer.—Oswald Chambers in Christian Disciplines
©1998 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the “Click here to receive weekly devotionals” box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)