90 Days of Prayer – Day Fourteen
The Lifestyle of Prayer
“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should.”
The importance of a lifestyle of prayer cannot be overstated. A lifestyle of prayer is assumed when it comes to the Kingdom teaching in the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus stated “And when you pray…” Matthew 6:5, “This, then, is how you should pray:…” Matthew 6:9.
E.M. Bounds said “Prayer is to the Christian as breathing is to the lungs,” Believers cannot survive without this vital contact with heaven. In the forward to Herbert Lockyer’s classic “All the Prayers of the Bible” the Publisher writes; “Exclusive of the Psalms, which form a prayer-book on their own, the Bible records no fewer than 650 definite prayers, of which no less than 450 have recorded answers.” Yes, this lifestyle cannot be overstated.
Being Devoted to Prayer
In our passage under consideration Paul solicits prayer from the Colossian believers. He encouraged them to “devote” themselves to prayer. The word “devote” here is in the present active tense, and means to; “firmly adhere to,” to “persist in,” and to “remain devoted to.” This speaks of a lifestyle. Prayer is the lifeblood of the Kingdom, and is ultimately connected to God’s global strategy of world redemption. This is the reason Paul solicits prayer cover for his continued mission of making Christ known.
Being Intimate with God
Devoting ourselves to a lifestyle of prayerful intimacy with God is the norm for genuine believers, and has many far reaching benefits. It is no mystery that there exists a direct link between a lifestyle of prayer and a growing fellowship with the Holy Spirit. Just as continued practice brings a proficiency in anything we do, so to with prayer. A continued lifestyle of heart to heart dialogue with God sharpens our sensitivity to the Spirit’s gentle promptings, alerting us to God’s voice within. Those promptings are for our good, the good of those around us, and to God’s mission of advancing the gospel of the kingdom around the world… far reaching benefits to say the least!
Prayer is Kingdom Business
We the Church are partners with God in His big Kingdom business of world redemption. We are His ambassadors of light to a darkened world. Prayer is the engine that drives missions. Calling on God to supply all that is needed causes God’s will to be done on earth as it is in heaven, in our lives here at home and around the world.
Continual asking develops a maturity for continual receiving, for ourselves and for others. A growing cooperation with the Holy Spirit in prayer brings a greater confidence, joy, and desire for more prayer. As we are continually mentored by the Spirit in the art of fellowship with God, we will be continually maturing in the skillful art of answered prayer, for ourselves and for others. This was in essence the basis of Paul’s request in verse 3, for he and his mission team, advancing the kingdom depends on prayer.
Keep in mind that your prayers are important, all kinds of prayers and requests as the Spirit inspires them. Remember others when you pray, continue practicing this fine art of prayer and intercession. Be Devoted to it, Be Alert in it, do your part to advance God’s kingdom, and Be Encouraged! -JSP