Friday, January 09, 2009

Laurie Ann's Verse for 2009

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

I thought it important to pick a verse for this year. Since God has called me to spend more time with Him in deeper prayer this year, I thought this was a great verse! This decision wasn't just a whim. This is something the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart as I read God's Word and sought Him in prayer between Thanksgiving and the end of 2008. I prayed about this, wanting to make sure I was getting the message right and as I read the Bible, prayer just seemed to be in many of the verses I read, that or the subject of praying. I'm not one for resolutions; however, this was a goal for the upcoming year I could not ignore. How can you run from God when He is so passionately pursuing you? As I expressed my desire to Him to know Him better, He assured me I would if I devoted myself to Him in prayer and the reading of His Word.

The Greek word for devote in the verse above is proskartereō, which means:

1) to adhere to one, be his adherent, to be devoted or constant to one
2) to be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing
3) to continue all the time in a place
4) to persevere and not to faint
5) to show one's self courageous for
6) to be in constant readiness for one, wait on constantly

Devotion is not something to be entered into lightly. It's a committment of sorts. This is something I must remain constant and steadfast in. I know that Satan won't be happy about this, so perseverance and courage are two things I will have to remain strong in. I will also be on the ready and waiting constantly for response as my Savior hears my prayers.

The Greek word for prayer in Colossians 4:8 is proseuchē, which means:

1) prayer addressed to God
2) a place set apart or suited for the offering of prayer
a) a synagogue
b) a place in the open air where the Jews were wont to pray, outside the cities, where they had no synagogue
1) such places were situated upon the bank of a stream or the shore of a sea, where there was a supply of water for washing the hands before prayer

Of course prayer is addressed to God. Prayer is our line of communication with God through His Son Jesus Christ. Prayers can be lengthy, short, complex or simple. They can be said in private or public. They can be used for praise, intercession, supplication, confession, repentance, etc. More on the different meanings of prayer later.

With the mandate from Paul to devote ourselves to prayer, we are also told to remain watchful and thankful.

At first I thought that remaining watchful meant to be on the lookout for answers to prayer. Certainly we are to do that, but on closer examination of this word in Strong's, I discovered a concept new to me.

The Greek word for watch is grēgoreō, which means:

1) to watch
2) metaph. give strict attention to, be cautious, active
a) to take heed lest through remission and indolence some destructive calamity suddenly overtake one

There are times when I have forgotten to pray. Some mornings I oversleep and hit the floor running to make it to work on time. Other nights I fall asleep listening to my iPod without praying. There are times I forget to ask God's blessing on the food I eat.

Here we are reminded to give strict attention to prayer and to be active in it, for if we don't something might happen, if I'm understanding it correctly. We know that God hears our prayers, and if we don't pray them, I wonder sometimes how often we miss the chance to change something when we don't pray? How many blessings might we be missing if we neglect seeking Him in watchful prayer?

We are also admonished to be thankful.

The Greek word for thankful here is eucharistia, which means:

1) thankfulness
2) the giving of thanks

I'm reminded here to always be thankful and to actually give thanks to God for the prayers He so faithfully answers for me.

I pray that I will honor God and remain devoted to Him, both in prayer and the reading of His Word.

"Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path." ~ Psalm 119:105 (NIV)

"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." ~ 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NIV)

I want God's Word to light the path I'm on and to teach, train and equip me. The Bible is God-breathed. He inspired men of old to write the very Words He spoke to their hearts. I want it to come alive within me.

"May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD." ~ Psalm 104:34 (NIV)

This is a year of rejoicing for me. I don't know what things may come, but as I grow closer to Him through prayer and the reading of His Word, I know that it will be alright.


He And Me + 3 said...

Laurie Ann,

I so needed to read this post, because this is my goal for this year and the rest of my pray more and grow closer to the Lord through prayer. Awesome post! I am going to make your verse my year verse too. Thanks!

LAURIE said...

I loved your scripture you picked for the year. How we can be devoted to so many things...devoted to watching the playoffs, or devoted to watching ER each week, etc but when it comes to being devoted to prayer ... we struggle. This is also my desire this year to spend more quality time with my heavenly Father! -love, Laurie

Jnette said...

This is a great way to begin January!
I really love II Timothy 3:16 and that always reminds me of I Peter 2:2:
like newborn babies, long for the pure milk of the word, so that by it you may grow in respect to salvation,

desire in the Greek is epipotheo and means to yearn, dote upon, intensely crave, earnestly desire, greatly long after

The way I used to lust for the things of this world I am now to earnestly long for the Word of God as a babe! That is just so beautiful how God gives us a heart for him after we get saved!

I really enjoy reading your blog Laurie Ann and I love the scriptures you share! Colossians 4:2 is really an awesome scripture to pick for 2009!