Devote yourselves to prayer, being
watchful and thankful.
Colossians 4:2 NIV
I urge, then, first of all, that requests,
prayers, intercession and thanksgiving
be made for everyone.
1 Timothy 2:1 NIV
E.M. Bounds said, “Prayer should not be regarded as a duty which must be performed, but rather as a privilege to be enjoyed, a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.”
In his letter to the church at Colosse, Paul admonished his brothers and sisters in Christ to devote themselves to prayer. The Greek word for devote conveys the meaning to join, to give attention to, be faithful to, to spend much time together.
Prayer is not a solitary action. Although we often talk about being alone in prayer, it is always alone with God, the two of us spending time together discussing faith, friends, family, life… As we worship, we can feel His presence. As we confess our sin, we can realize His forgiveness. As we bring our requests to God, we recognize our dependence upon God and become thankful for His goodness, mercy, love and grace. As we wait and listen for Him to speak, He teaches us and pulls us into relationship with Him.
Prayer draws us close to God. Prayer is our place of power as God hears and answers. Often the change most wrought by prayer is in me as God carefully shapes and forms me into the likeness of Christ.
Prayer is a delight. It is like wiggling your toes in an icy spring on a hot summer day. It is like a drink of fresh cool water after an extended walk on a dusty trail. It is like the first glimpse of spring flowers after a long gray winter, or first sight of a loved one not seen in years.
Prayer humbles my heart before God and energizes me for the day’s journey. Time spent with God reassures me that I can make it through the trials of life, joyfully. Through prayer I find the peace that passes all understanding. Through prayer my disappointments become an assurance from God that He is working all things out for my good.
Prayer allows me the privilege of a glimpse through that heavenly portal into the throne room of God—into the place where God’s glory shines too bright for my human eyes—“a rare delight that is always revealing some new beauty.”
What good is prayer?
© Joyce Powell