20th November 2012

Hopefully Devoted To…

“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.”
Colossians 4:2 (NIV)

I am a flower arranger. I love working and playing with flowers and all plant materials. I spend time learning about them. I’m constantly looking for new information and new ways to arrange flowers. I notice them wherever I go. I spend time practicing the art of flower arranging. I belong to a flower club. I take classes to improve my techniques. I talk to like-minded people and we get excited about our craft and sharing ideas and suggestions. In short you could say I’m devoted to flower arranging.

What does it mean to devote yourself to something? The online dictionary.com defines the word ‘devote’ as “to give up or appropriate to or concentrate on a particular pursuit, occupation, purpose, cause. To appropriate by or as if by a vow; set apart or dedicate by a solemn or formal act; consecrate: ‘She devoted her life to God.'”

Paul encourages us to devote ourselves to prayer.  If we are devoted to prayer, just as I am to flower arranging, it means we want to set apart quality time.  We pour our energies into it.  We practice it, we learn more about how to do it more effectively. We dedicate time for thinking about what we are going to pray.  We embrace it.

In life’s fast pace it is often hard to squeeze in time for dedicated prayer. The intention is fully there but events overtake us. The phone rings, someone comes to the door, someone needs something urgently. Whatever the reason, we get interrupted and are unable to find our way back into prayer.  For many of us, because so much is happening in our lives, we just don’t have time to absorb it all and act on it. So when we hear of a situation or someone who needs our prayers, the most we’re able to do is offer up a very brief instantaneous prayer. That is good but sometimes that’s it. That’s as far as our prayer goes. Sometimes it’s almost like ticking it off the list.  But how much time and effort do we devote to real, fervent prayer and how we can be more effective with it?

At a recent festival I attended, there was a multitude of cards to be signed for people who were unable to attend. It took quite some effort to sign them all. As I was signing them, I noticed one person making a note of all the names for a personal prayer list and I assume that time will be devoted to each name in prayer. That person was watching for prayer opportunities and then acting on it.

Let’s determine to devote more time to praying with watchfulness and thanksgiving.

Father Almighty, help us to better understand how to devote ourselves in prayer, being watchful and thankful always. In Jesus name we pray.

Study by Shirley Henderson 

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