Welcome to Tuesdays Together in the Word, hosted by DeeDee Warren at I Have No Greater Joy... We are a group of bloggers reading God's Word and sharing with each other a "nugget" or three of what we are learning. DeeDee has the plan posted on her sidebar. Join in with us, won't you? You don't have to begin at the beginning.
Establishing times set apart to devote to God in prayer are extremely important, too. Many of us have established quiet times; others of us are hit and miss. We should aim to meet with God at least once a day for an extended period of time. I'm not talking about spending four hours in prayer with God the minute your feet hit the floor each morning or scheduling prayers for certain times, although if you feel so called, you should do that. (I don't. I spend anywhere from 20 minutes to 45 minutes and sometimes an hour, and although I would love it to be, it's not always the minute I wake up.)
"Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)
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
The Greek word for prayer is proseuchē, which means:
1) prayer addressed to God
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
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 aren't faithful to pray them, I wonder how often we miss the chance to ask God to change something when we don't pray? I know He doesn't depend on us to tell Him how to work, but He is faithful to hear and act on the prayers of His people. There are many examples of things that were changed in the Bible because of prayer. Illnesses healed, wars won, etc. And how many blessings might we be missing if we neglect being watchful?
We are also admonished to be thankful.
The Greek word for thankful here is eucharistia, which means:
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 we 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 we're on and to teach, train and equip us. 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, and I pray the same for you.
"May my meditation be pleasing to him, as I rejoice in the LORD." ~ Psalm 104:34 (NIV)
P - Present your all your requests to God with thanksgiving. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." Philippians 4:6 (NIV)
R - Remember that His purpose will prevail and trust in His will. "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it is the LORD's purpose that prevails." ~ Proverbs 19:21 (NIV)
A - Allow for multiple prayer times throughout the day. "Pray without ceasing." ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (KJV)
Y - Yearn to spend more time with Him in prayer. "Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful." ~ Colossians 4:2 (NIV)
E - Exalt and praise God in prayer. "The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior!" ~ Psalm 18:46 (NIV)
R - Remember to ask for His cleansing when needed. "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place. Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow." ~ Psalm 51:6-7 (NIV)