Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. (Colossians 4:2, HCSB)
Let me tell you a story. Our son is working away from home this summer. We don’t have much contact with him, but when he has a chance he calls and tells us what is going on in his world. Last week was particularly difficult for him. Several incidents occurred, one after the other, leaving him spiritually “beaten down” when he called his momma.
Later that day my wife told me what he was going through and we both agreed to pray for him.
Fast forward two days later. I got up early and took the dogs for a walk – this is my favorite prayer time because it’s only me, the dogs, the birds, and the Lord that are awake. As I was praying for my son, God spoke clearly to me that He was wanting to do for my boy what he did for Elijah in 1 Kings 19. Awesome! Feeling encouraged, I prayed that over my son.
Later that day I called my wife. We were talking about all kinds of things, then I said: “I forgot to tell you this morning, but God gave me passage for the boy today.” She responded without hesitation: “Was it 1 Kings 19? Because God gave that word to me today and I just texted it to him.”
That’s why I can say confidently with Paul: “Devote yourselves to prayer.” That word translated “devote” means “to busily engage in.” Don’t just think about praying – get busy and get after it.
When you pray, stay alert in it…don’t just tell God what’s up. He knows. Instead, as you talk to Him listen for his response. Listen for his direction.
And do so thankfully, because God cares, He listens, and He answers. Prayer changes things. If you don’t like something in your life – your attitude, your habits, your situation – whatever – devote yourself to prayer!
“Keep asking, and it will be given to you. Keep searching, and you will find. Keep knocking, and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who searches finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, HCSB)