Devote Yourself to Prayer
January 8, 2024
We have just kicked off 21 Days of Prayer. What a fantastic way to start the new year!
The instruction of Paul to the sincere Jesus-followers in Colossae was “Devote yourselves to prayer” (Colossians 4:2 NIV). He didn’t tell them to first devote themselves to evangelizing, doing good, attending church, producing – any of those good things that are also vital parts of following Christ. He knew that the power, wisdom, and motivation for everything else necessary would come from prayer.
Private or secret prayer is the lifeblood of the Christian. The great men and women of God down through the ages have testified to the effectiveness of this in their lives. Paul’s call to a greater commitment to prayer might not only transform your life, but it could also be a catalyst toward a change in the world around you.
Prayer is an enormously powerful weapon. If we determine in our minds and instill the priority of our days to seek God’s guidance as we journey in 2024, we will be guided right and we will be on a very good path. This develops a healthy, strong relationship with the Lord that will affect all aspects of a person’s life.
There are many things to pray about that will help you discover a way of life empowered with the presence of God – we can pray for restoration, transformation, protection – an unlimited well of needs and desires. F. B. Meyer, the author of the great little book The Secret of Guidance said, "The great tragedy of life is not unanswered prayer, but unoffered prayer."
For most of us prayer is an untapped resource where untold treasure is stored for us. Frankly, we talk about it more than anything else, and practice it less than anything else. And yet, for the believer it remains one of the greatest gifts our Lord has given us.
S. D. Gordon in his book Quiet Talks on Prayer says, “How much prayer meant to Jesus! It was not only His regular habit, but His resort in every emergency, however slight or serious. When perplexed, He prayed. When hard pressed by work, He prayed. When hungry for fellowship, He found it in prayer. He chose His associates and received His messages upon His knees. If tempted, He prayed. If criticized, He prayed. If fatigued in body or wearied in spirit, He had recourse to His one unfailing habit of prayer. Prayer brought Him unmeasured power at the beginning and kept the flow unbroken and undiminished. There was no emergency, no difficulty, no necessity, no temptation that would not yield to prayer. Prayer engages God, enables God's people, and enlarges His kingdom. Jesus said, ‘Without me, you can do nothing.’ Until we have prayed, we can do nothing, but once we have prayed, we can accomplish anything.”
What does your prayer life look like today? Are you persistent in prayer? Are your prayers passionate or simply routine and perfunctory? Are they filled with intensity and fervor or are they weak, timid, and lacking faith? What about gratitude? How much time have you spent thanking God for the multitude of things He has done for you? And for whom are you praying? Is there anyone in your life who you are praying will get saved? Is there a burden on your heart to see God's kingdom expand, to see His will done?
A powerful prayer life comes from a heart that overflows with love for Christ, and then love for people and a deep desire for them to know Christ. A passion for people leads to a passion for prayer.
In your prayer time today, develop a list of three to five people whom you want to come to Christ in 2024. Pray that God would move on their hearts and give you opportunities to share. If only one-third of NewPointe’s family did that, think of what could happen in our communities that would echo through eternity!