Read Colossians 4:2-4.Devote means to "commit by a solemn act <devoted herself to serving God> 2 : to give over or direct (as time, money, or effort) to a cause, enterprise, or activity." (Merriam-Webster) I have to include the synonyms because they are so descriptive. "synonyms devote, dedicate, consecrate, hallow mean to set apart for a special and often higher end. devote is likely to imply compelling motives and often attachment to an objective <devoted his evenings to study>. dedicate implies solemn and exclusive devotion to a sacred or serious use or purpose <dedicated her life to medical research>. consecrate stresses investment with a solemn or sacred quality <consecrate a church to the worship of God>. hallow, often differing little from dedicate or consecrate, may distinctively imply an attribution of intrinsic sanctity
"Devote yourselves to prayer...." NIV
As I read each of the definitions of "devote" and its synonyms, I have to ask myself, "Is this the way I treat prayer?" Do I treat it as a solemn act or a quick duty? Do I truly believe and have faith that it is for a serious use or purpose? Do I invest in prayer? These are all important questions that beg an answer. God has shown again and again in history, in the Church, and in our personal lives the power of prayer. He honors our prayers when given in accordance with His will and His Word. He desires that time of communion with us to love on us and instruct. But I must be committed or "devoted" to keeping those moments with the Father sacred and regular. I should always have the communication line open to the Holy Spirit, but I also need to just sit in His presence, share from my heart, and listen to His still small voice.
Paul continues to say that our hearts should be watchful and thankful. We need to be alert to where God is at work to join Him there. He will direct if we are listening in prayer. Then thankfulness should pour from our hearts for the prayer requests answered. We should thank Him for all answers. (Sometimes the answer in "no." But that is still an answer from God.) And we should lift up our fellow brothers and sisters as they navigate through this life representing the Father.
If I were a business woman and Bill Gates offered to meet with me daily for a discussion, I would not miss a one. If I were a restaurateur and I could sit down and talk to Chef Emeril Lagasse every day, I'd make that appointment a priority. Having a conversation with the Almighty Creator of the Universe should never be taken for granted. And we should never miss an opportunity to sit down with the Father, love on Him, and let Him love on us. Christian action is necessary; devotion to prayer is life-changing. He's waiting.
- Do you purposefully talk and listen to the Father or is it a passing conversation?
- Some of the greatest believers in history spent hours a day in prayer. How much time will you commit to the Lord each day?
- We can use the phrase, "I'm too busy." (I'm preaching to myself here.) But what are we too busy doing? Can we not make time for the Lord? Will any of those others things that make us "too busy" matter in the end?