Friday, April 06, 2018

Devote Yourselves to Prayer

Today's Reading:
2 Chronicles 24:1-25:28
Colossians 3:18-4:18
Psalm 118:1-16
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Focus Verses: Colossians 4:2-6
2 Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. 3 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. 4 Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.

Prayer is something that requires devotion. True devotion is demonstrated through intentional practices and committed routines in daily life. Faithfulness in prayer will help me be watchful and thankful. Praying for people will make me more thoughtful and aware of their needs, relationships, responsibilities, joys, and sorrows.

Consistent times of prayer will also help me to see the many ways God is working, saving, sustaining, and blessing. This will result in an attitude of gratitude and a desire to give thanks and praise to God.

A devoted prayer life includes a concern for the spreading of the gospel of Christ Jesus. It's important to pray for missionaries, churches, and evangelistic ministries. It's also important to pray about my own witness for Christ in everyday life and conversation.

Response and Action:
I must be committed to prayer and be intentional about how and when I will pray. I will exercise my commitment to prayer with a thoughtful approach to who and what I pray about. I will strive to develop consistent prayer routine. I will keep a prayer journal, noting the ways I see God responding to my prayers. I will ask God to open doors for missionaries and evangelists who are taking the message of Christ around the world. I will also pray for God's help to be a gracious and winsome witness for Christ in my everyday life and conversations.

Gracious God, thank you for hearing the prayers of your people. Open my eyes to needs and situations around me as I pray. Give me a heart of gratitude and lips that praise you as my time in prayer helps me to see the many ways you answer and bless. Guide and sustain your servants who are   taking the good news of Jesus to those who do not yet know him. Give me a gracious and seasoned demeanor as I go about my life today, that I might be an effective and salty witness for the hope and life you freely give through Christ. In his name, I pray. Amen.

Spiritual Formation Verses: Ephesians 6:18-20
18 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. 19 Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.
Praying: Finding Our Way Through Duty to Delight 
by J. I. Packer and Carolyn Nystrom

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