Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2 (NIV)
As Thanksgiving Day approaches, I am filled with anticipation of family and friends gathering together around the table to enjoy a feast. I have always loved to watch that turkey come out of the oven, perfectly browned, juices boiling in the pan, and the aroma filling the house. I love to carve the turkey – each moist slice of meat falling over onto the serving dish. I admit that I might test a few pieces of turkey as I continue to carve – that is one of the perks of being the carver. Everybody is called to the table when the slicing is done, and we gather with great delight for the banquet we are about to enjoy and for the company that encircles the table.
Similarly, we ought to look forward with anticipation to spending time with the Lord. In Colossians 4:2-6, the Apostle Paul instructs that God’s people are to devote themselves to prayer. In Life, we devote ourselves to people and things that are important to us. They are our priorities in life. It follows, then, that prayer should be a priority in our lives, because God is constantly calling His people to prayer. However, we are not to be devoted to a spiritual exercise. Rather, we are to be devoted to the One with whom we meet. As we come to God daily in prayer, we should anticipate our gathering with the King of kings and the Lord of lords and all the benefits that flow from such a meeting. As we ready ourselves for a time of prayer, we know that we are coming to meet with a living, acting, loving, good God; and therefore, we enter into prayer with anticipation, being watchful and thankful.
Our forty days of prayer for revitalization is not to be understood as a program for prayer. It is a time when we, as a church, meet with the Lord as we seek corporately for God’s Spirit to move within our lives and our ministry. My hope is that if some of us are not used to meeting with the Lord on a regular basis, that these forty days will be a habit-forming period of time when we will experience such a deep fellowship with the Lord that we will just keep praying daily - even after the forty days are over. If you are not doing so, please set aside time each day to spend in prayer with the Lord. “If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray,” D.L. Moody said, “depend upon it, you have more business on hand than God ever intended you should have.” We need to “carve out” that time for God, remembering what David declared in Psalm 34:8: “Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.”
In His Grace,