Wednesday, December 9, 2009

What are we waiting for?

Good morning folks. We are bracing for our first winter storm this year. It is an awkward one, hitting sometime in the morning. Meanwhile, we will busy ourselves with Colossians 4.

Let us make this simple:

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. v. 2

That is as simple as it comes; pray. Notice the words around that instruction; devote yourselves, watchful, thankful.

Why do we take prayer so lightly? The Scriptures seem pretty intense about it. Jesus gave instruction on prayer and demonstrated the need for it as a way of life. Paul was constantly reminding the churches and individuals to pray and to pray often, daily. Here he uses the world "devote yourselves" to indicate the importance of it. Praying should be like breathing for a Christian. It should be our first reaction in every situation. We should offer it as a solution for illness, praying over our family and friends. We should offer it as part of our council and comfort to people. It is us taking people to the source of all power, strength, wisdom and healing. It is us talking things over with our Father, seeking his advice, asking him for direction, reminding him of his promises, presenting the needs of our family and friends and it is relationship.

We are instructed in many places in scripture to watch and pray. Jesus had asked his disciples to sit with him, to watch and pray before his arrest. It is interesting that the disciples fell asleep, which typifies how many of us treat prayer. Our attitude in prayer should be alertness. We should be aware of what is happening around us. We should see what is happening in the world, in people's lives and we should be praying. A Christian should never be unaware of world events, community events, church happenings, neighbours needs, family activities. We need to be aware so we know what to be praying about. The Word explains how to pray and life lets us know what to pray. Yet, we are not to take note of these things and take it to prayer meeting; we are to pray immediately, right there and then. We should pray with another Christian as the Word tells us it is more effective but so are the prayers of a righteous man. A single person praying is more effective then no prayer at all.

Our attitude in prayer is also important. Gratitude and thanksgiving is vital as a follower of Jesus, but especially as we pray. We need to approach our Father with a right attitude because of all that he has already done. It is a terrible thing to come to God demanding things with a heart that does not recognize and appreciate what he has already done for us. That is not a heart that contains any worship and praise of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit and yet God is the only one who is worthy of our worship and praise. If we do not approach that throne of grace with thanksgiving do not believe that your prayers will be effective.

The platform of this blog is too small to give a full teaching on prayer but know this, we are told to devote ourselves to prayer. Can we honestly say we are? Paul writes:

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. (Ephesians 6:18)

Are we praying? Are we praying as we should? Revival of God's people is found in prayer. The awakening of a nation is found in prayer. The comforting of a child is found in prayer. Strength, wisdom, hope is found in prayer. Unity of the Body is found in prayer. Refreshing and renewing is found in prayer. Rejoicing, praise, worship, thanksgiving, gratitude are all found in prayer. Intimacy is found in prayer. So what are we waiting for?

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