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Devoted to Prayer

Position of PrayerDevote yourselves to prayer
Keeping alert in it
With an attitude of thanksgiving
Colossians 4:2

The aforementioned Scripture, is part of the instructions we are given in Colossians 3:1-25, and Colossians 4:1-6; these instructions teach us how to conduct are lives on a daily basis as followers of JESUS CHRIST.

Today, we will examine the instruction for prayer, by examining the three-fold way we have been instructed to pray.

First, we are instructed to “devote ourselves to prayer” What does it mean to “devote yourself to prayer”? The English word “devote” in this passage of Scripture was translated from the Greek word “proskartereō” (NT:4342) and it means to:
adhere (or stick to)

These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer
Along with the women, and Mary the mother of JESUS, and with HIS brothers
Acts 1:14

diligent (pay close attention to; take great effort)

And HE came to the disciples and found them sleeping
And said to Peter, “So, you men could not keep watch with ME for one hour?
“Keep watching and praying that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Matthew 26:40-41

be steadfast (not changing; not wavering; staying strong)

Now when Daniel knew that the document was signed
He entered his house (now in his roof chamber he had windows open toward Jerusalem)
And he continued kneeling on his knees three times a day, praying and giving thanks before his GOD
As he had been doing previously
Daniel 6:10-11

continue at all times

Pray without ceasing
1 Thessalonians 5:17

persevere and not faint (or give up)

Now HE was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart
Saying, in a certain city there was a judge who did not fear GOD and did not respect man
There was a widow in that city, and she kept coming to him, saying
‘Give me legal protection from my opponent’
For a while he was unwilling
But afterward he said to himself, ‘even though I do not fear GOD nor respect man
Yet because this widow bothers me, I will give her legal protection
Otherwise by continually coming she will wear me out’
And The LORD said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge said
Now, will not GOD bring about justice for HIS elect who cry to HIM day and night
And will HE delay long over them?
I tell you that HE will bring about justice for them quickly
However, when The SON of Man comes, will HE find faith on the earth?”
Luke 18:1-8

Why has our Beloved LORD GOD called us to be “devoted in prayer”? Devoted or persistent prayer, causes us to be in continual direct communication with HIM. This consistent communication causes us to be reliant upon HIM (Psa 71:5, Psa 84:12, Jer 17:7-8); to draw close to HIM (Jam 4:8); bringing us into HIS presence (Exd 34:5-8).
It is in HIS presence things are put into perspective (Psa 73:1-28); fear is exchanged for confidence (Jdgs 6:22-24, Isa 41:10-13); anxiety is replaced with peace (Php 4:6-8); sorrow is turned into comfort (Isa 51:12, 2 Cor 1:3-4); despair changed to hope (Psa 42:5-11, Psa 43:4-5,); defeat becomes victory (2 Sam 5:22-24, Psa 56:1-13); and we are able to resist the enemy (1 Sam 30:6, Psa 18:1-2, Jam 4:7, 1 Pet 5:6-8).

Second, we are instructed to “keep alert in it” What does it mean to “keep alert in prayer”? The English word “alert” in this passage of Scripture was translated from the Greek word “grēgoreō” (NT:1127) and it means to:
keep awake (completely conscious; not drowsy or any state of sleep)

But you, brethren, are not in darkness, that the day would overtake you like a thief
For you are all sons of light and sons of day
We are not of night nor of darkness
So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us be alert and sober
For those who sleep do their sleeping at night, and those who get drunk get drunk at night
But since we are of the day, let us be sober
Having put on the breastplate of faith and love
And as a helmet, the hope of salvation
1 Thessalonians 5:4-8

be watchful (carefully observing; paying close attention to; perceptive)

Then The LORD said to Gideon
The people are still too many; bring them down to the water and I will test them for you there
Therefore it shall be that he of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall go with you,’ he shall go with you
But everyone of whom I say to you, ‘This one shall not go with you,’ he shall not go”
So he brought the people down to the water
And The LORD said to Gideon
“You shall separate everyone who laps the water with his tongue as a dog laps
As well as everyone who kneels to drink”
Now the number of those who lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, was 300 men
But all the rest of the people kneeled to drink water
The LORD said to Gideon, “I will deliver you with the 300 men who lapped
And will give the Midianites into your hands; so let all the other people go, each man to his home”
Judges 7:4-7

be vigilant (staying watchful and alert to danger or trouble)

Be of sober spirit, be on the alert
Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour
But resist him, firm in your faith
Knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world
1 Peter 5:8-9

Why have we been called to “keep alert in prayer”? If we look at 1 Peter 4:7 using translations from both the Complete Jewish Bible and Message, the question is answered succinctly (or gets to the point in just a few words):

The accomplishing of the goal of all things is close at hand.
Therefore, keep alert and self-controlled, so that you can pray.
1 Peter 4:7 (Complete Jewish Bible translation)

Everything in the world is about to be wrapped up, so take nothing for granted.
Stay wide-awake in prayer.
1 Peter 4:7 (The Message translation)

Third, we are instructed to “have an attitude of thanksgiving” What does it mean to “to have an attitude of thanksgiving”? The English word “thanksgiving” in this passage of Scripture was translated from the Greek word “eucharistia” (NT:2169) and it means to have:
gratitude (to be grateful, appreciative)

Enter HIS gates with thanksgiving
And HIS courts with praise.
Give thanks to HIM, bless HIS NAME.
For The LORD is good;
HIS lovingkindness is everlasting
And HIS faithfulness to all generations.
Psalm 100:4-5

thankfulness (both acknowledge and recognize the benefits received)

Sing to The LORD a new song
Sing to The LORD, all the earth
Sing to The LORD, bless HIS NAME
Proclaim good tidings of HIS salvation from day to day
Tell of HIS glory among the nations
HIS wonderful deeds among all the peoples
For great is The LORD and greatly to be praised
HE is to be feared above all gods
For all the gods of the peoples are idols
But The LORD made the heavens
Splendor and majesty are before HIM
Strength and beauty are in HIS sanctuary
Ascribe to The LORD, O families of the peoples
Ascribe to The LORD glory and strength
Ascribe to The LORD the glory of HIS name
Bring an offering and come into HIS courts
Worship The LORD in holy attire
Tremble before HIM, all the earth
Say among the nations, The LORD reigns
Indeed, the world is firmly established
It will not be moved
HE will judge the peoples with equity
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice
Let the sea roar, and all it contains
Let the field exult, and all that is in it
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy before The LORD
For HE is coming
For HE is coming to judge the earth
HE will judge the world in righteousness
And the peoples in HIS faithfulness
Psalm 96:1-13

Why have we been called to “have an attitude of thanksgiving in prayer”? A heart that comes to our Beloved LORD GOD full of thanksgiving, is a heart that fully knows WHO HE is (Jer 32:16-17, Luk 1:37, Heb 11:6); a heart that remembers all HE has done (Psa 103:2, Psa 116:12); a heart that has full confidence in HIM (Psa 59:16-17, Psa 95:1-7, Psa 91:1-3, 2 Tim 2:13); a heart that has experienced HIS goodness and mercy (Psa 124:1-8, Psa 63:1-8, Psa 116:1-2, Psa 121:1-8).

Trust in HIM at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before HIM;
GOD is a refuge for us. Selah.
Psalm 62:8

When salt become tasteless


You are the salt of the earth

But if the salt has become tasteless, how can it be made salty again?

It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.

Matthew 5:13

How does salt become tasteless? To explain this phenomena we must go to the shores of the Dead Sea, where salt contaminated with gypsum and other minerals, can be found. This contaminated salt is flat in taste, and is quite repulsive. When a batch of this contaminated salt found its way into a Palestinian household, it was carefully thrown out. The people of Palestine were careful not to throw it on a garden or field, where it would kill whatever was planted (as demonstrated in Judges 9:45).Instead it was thrown onto a path or road, where it would be gradually trampled underfoot by men, and ground into the dirt and disappear.

As we examined the phenomena of salt becoming tasteless on the shores of the Dead Sea, what we discovered is that tasteless salt is actually salt that has become very impure, contaminated by various impure substances.

As a follower of JESUS CHRIST, HE has called us “the salt of the earth”.  But HE warns HIS followers about becoming tasteless or contaminated by the world and the things in the world (Jam 1:27, 1 Pet 1:14-15, 1 Jhn 2:15-17). Christians become contaminated, conformed to the world rather than transformed by GOD (Rom 12:2), when they:

  • think and behave as those who do not honor GOD nor have knowledge HIM (Rom 1:21, 1 Cor 15:33-34)
  • do not stand in The Truth of GOD’s WORD, instead choosing to be acceptant of the world’s beliefs (1 Kin 18:21)
  • choose to only follow the part of GOD’s WORD that they deem culturally relevant (Mat 5:17-19)

Our Beloved LORD JESUS CHRIST forewarned us concerning occurrences in these final days, such as sin increasing causing many people’s love of HIM and HIS WORD to decrease (Mat 24:12). Do you honestly know where you stand? I pray each one of us would take the time to examine ourselves (Psa 119:59-60, Lam 3:40, 2 Cor 13:5).   

 Search me, O GOD, and know my heart;

Try me and know my anxious thoughts;

And see if there be any hurtful way in me,

And lead me in the everlasting way.

Psalm 139:23-24

Sighing and Groaning over Detestable Sins

Mourning 3Then HE cried out in my hearing with a loud voice saying

“Draw near, O executioners of the city, each with his destroying weapon in his hand.”

Behold, six men came from the direction of the upper gate which faces north,

Each with his shattering weapon in his hand

And among them was a certain man clothed in linen, with a writing case at his loins

And they went in and stood beside the bronze altar

Then the glory of The GOD of Israel went up from the cherub on which it had been,

To the threshold of the temple

And HE called to the man clothed in linen at whose loins was the writing case

The LORD said to him, “Go through the midst of the city

Even through the midst of Jerusalem

And put a mark on the foreheads of the men

Who sigh and groan over all the abominations which are being committed in its midst.”

But to the others HE said in my hearing

“Go through the city after him and strike

Do not let your eye have pity and do not spare

“Utterly slay old men, young men, maidens, little children, and women

But do not touch any man on whom is the mark

And you shall start from MY sanctuary.”

Ezekiel 9:1-6

This passage of Scripture from Ezekiel is a wake-up call to GOD’s people today. It is not enough to proclaim you are a follower of JESUS CHRIST if your heart is not HIS heart. A loving, compassionate, merciful heart that loves righteousness and hates all iniquity. A heart that rejoices in The LORD and The WORDS of HIS mouth, while grieving over sin and all those who are held captive by it. A heart that listens to the counsel of HIS Holy SPIRIT and is willing to follow HIM all the days of your life, no matter the cost. A person with this heart, would have been spared in the vision our Beloved LORD GOD gave to the prophet Ezekiel in the aforementioned passages.

Since the ruling of the United States Supreme Court on Friday, June 26, 2015, my heart has been grieved most by the response of many in the Christian community. Instead of standing as Peter and John when commanded by the Council to stop speaking and teaching in The NAME of JESUS (Acts 4:1-20), I have seen many professing Christians turn their Facebook pages into rainbows in support of those who practice sexual immorality on several different levels. I have heard many talk about loving and not judging in the wake of the passage of a law that openly defies our Beloved LORD GOD’s definition of marriage.

We have been called to be the light of the world (Mat 5:14), shining in the midst of the darkness not becoming part of the darkness. What fellowship does light have with darkness? Our Beloved ABBA FATHER has commanded us not to team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between CHRIST and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between GOD’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living GOD. (2 Cor 6:14-18).

Our love for our Beloved LORD GOD must be greater than any other love in our lives. That love for HIM must be so great, that compared to our love for others or even ourselves it would appear to be hate (Luk 14:25-27). If others accuse you of hating them because of your love for HIM, praise The LORD! If you suffer for being a true follower of JESUS CHRIST, glory to GOD! Our Beloved LORD GOD told us from the beginning “if we desire to live godly in CHRIST JESUS we will be persecuted.” (2 Tim 3:12). HE also told us if they persecuted HIM, they will persecute us (Jhn 15:20), they hated our Beloved LORD before they hated us (Jhn 15:18-25, 1 Jhn 3:13).

One final warning from our Beloved LORD GOD to those who believe they can be HIS friends and friends with the world:

You adulteresses, do you not know that friendship with the world is hostility toward GOD?

Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of GOD.

James 4:4