“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful.” Colossians 4:2 NIV
(Plans are laid to be able to finish the video work on Authority in the next few weeks. However, in the meantime, we pick up the passage that follows).
The word used in Greek for “devoted” here is to “persist, steadfast, or wait upon” leaving us with the understanding that to devote oneself to prayer means to continue in it for a long time with a deep emphasis in that action. Most would call this “intercession.” Although I believe in deeply in intercession as we are commanded, this particular scripture is aimed more at the whole body of Christ and not a particular group called to pray for something as in our common understanding.
(A bit of a side point: we are all called to intercession! None of us is exempt in the Body of Christ from this very important prayer instruction. The current understanding we have in the Body regarding intercession is that only those called to do that in a concentrated way are responsible for the intercession needed and commanded. That, in our way of thinking, requires a special gift – the gift of Intercession. That is nowhere in the word, beloved. Intercession, indeed, can be and often is a “call, and a particular appointment,” but nowhere is it listed as a “gift.” We all have various assignments within prayer, and intercession is only one of them).
Now let’s get back to “devoted.” We are commanded to be devoted to prayer and to watching and to being thankful. Let’s just work with “prayer” first. That simply means talking with our Heavenly Father. It means communicating with Him on any and all levels of our being. I think that is fairly simple.
However, such communication is never simple. It takes an openness in the human being to be open, vulnerable, and willing to engage the God of Heaven and Earth. That is simple, but not really. We must also be willing to listen so two-way communication can occur.
You see, in this New Covenant, we have with our Lord Jesus Christ, He has come to live within His earthly temple – you and me – through the Holy Spirit. (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19-20) Also, we are one in Spirit with Him or “one Spirit with Him” depending on your translation. (1 Corinthians 6:17) So there is really no distance or anything blocking Him unless it is within us. So our reluctance, or unforgiveness, or and the list could go on and on, might well interfere with our ability or willingness, but Jesus has completed all so He could live in us.
So being devoted to prayer is not such a big order, except internally. All matters can be processed in His heart of love and willing openness to you and me. Ours is the easy part – get rid of anything that keeps communication a problem in our minds and hearts. He is so willing to do that with us. Then freely stay in constant touch (that pretty well explains “pray without ceasing”) from moment to moment and begin to enjoy the fruit of such a full, open relationship with one who loves us more than anyone else.
What would such love do within us? Oh, I have found this jewel! Beloved, enter and begin to exchange all for Him only, and amazement will enter as we love and receive – for He constantly loves and receives us. Devotion is so easy in His heart.