Te proseuche proskartereite (2PPAM):
(Col 4:12; 1:9; 1Sa 12:23; Job 15:4; 27:8, 9, 10; Ps 55:16,17; 109:4;
Lk 18:1; Ro 12:12; Eph 6:18; Phil 4:6; 1Th 5:17,18)
Note the emphasis in the Greek -
"to prayer" is the first phrase!
Devote yourselves to prayer
- This does not mean that all you do is pray all day long, but it does
mean that one's devotion to prayer affects everything in one's life.
Think of a husband devoted to his wife or vice versa. The idea is that
one dedicates himself or herself to the other. Devotion implies a
strong attachment, allegiance, ardour or affection for some one or
some thing, in this case prayer and the act of praying. To devote
one's self involves allocation of ones' time and resources. There is a
giving of one's self. One who is devoted is ardent, caring, committed,
concerned, constant, dedicated, loyal, staunch, steadfast and true.
One who is devoted is not disloyal, inconstant, indifferent or
uncommitted. These are some of the ideas involved in the picture of
one who is devoted to prayer.
How does your prayer life compare
with these descriptions? Would you say you are devoted to prayer? If
not, then to what are you devoting your life...to things temporal or
things eternal? What needs to change, so that you might joyfully
fulfill the command to continually devote yourself to the high and
holy privilege of prayer to the Almighty?
How should we
pray? Observe Paul's simple instructions in this passage on how to
(1) Persistently - devote
(2) Watchfully - keeping alert
One thing is
abundantly clear from this passage - God's will is that we pray to
Him. We all struggle to know the will of God in this area or that area
of our life. This passage makes it clear that there are some things
that you don't have to struggle to know. And one of those things is
that God’s will is for you to make it a persistent practice to pray to
Him. One wonders how our fulfilling of this aspect of the will of God,
would make His will more easily discernible in other (all) areas of
In Paul's letter
to the Thessalonians he writes a parallel pithy passage in which
believers are commanded to...
command to continue in prayer) without ceasing (See discussion in
(proskartereo from prós = in compound Greek words prós implies motion,
direction = toward, to + karteréo = be
strong, steadfast, firm, endure, hold out, bear the burden) means to
be earnest towards, to persevere. It describes a steadfast
single-minded fidelity to a certain course of action. It means to
persist obstinately in a task, to
keep on with devotion, to
continue to do something with intense effort, to
be steadfastly attentive unto, to give unremitting care to a thing,
continue all the time in a place, to
persevere and not to faint, to
be constantly diligent, to
attend assiduously all the exercises, to
adhere closely to, to
attend continually or wait on continually, to
tarry or remain somewhere.
Proskartereo is used 10
times in the NT in the NASB (Mk;
and is translated: continually devoting themselves, 2; continued, 1;
continuing, 1; devote ourselves, 1; devote yourselves, 1; devoted, 1;
devoting themselves, 1; personal attendants, 1; stand ready, 1.
Devote in the present verse is a command (imperative
mood) in the
present tense, calling for continual devotion to
prayer. One thing is crystal clear from this passage and that is that
it is God's will that we pray to Him. We all struggle to know the will
of God for our lives, but there are some things that you do not have
to struggle to know. One of them is that God's will is that you pray
to him. Paul is exhorting the Colossian saints (and us) to pray often
and regularly. He is saying that prayer is not to be infrequent, "hit
or miss" activity (for if we do not "hit", it is us who will "miss"
out beloved). Devoted means we are not to be haphazard
and forgetful of our grand privilege of prayer as high priests of the
Living God. Devoted means that (under grace not law) we
must take steps to ensure that prayer with thanksgiving is a central
part of our spiritual life, even as are eating and sleeping. Seek
times of quiet communion with God. Early in the morning is one
Biblical motif. Then you are prepared to walk with God in continual
conversation throughout the day, moment by moment, hour by hour. Do
not neglect Scripture
for these friends will serve you well, as they goad and guide your
prayers throughout the day.
Daniel was a man "highly
esteemed" by God and thus it should come as no surprise that he was
"devoted to prayer", Scripture recording that even in the face of
"when Daniel knew that the document
(prohibiting prayer to God) 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." (Da 6:10-note)
"Seven times a day I praise You, because of Your righteous
Jesus speaking to His disciples
"that a boat should stand ready
for Him because of the multitude, in order that they might not
crowd Him." (Mk
Note that 6
of the 10 uses of proskartereo
are associated with prayer!
Luke for example records prior
to the selection of a replacement for Judas
"all with one mind were
continually devoting (proskartereo) themselves to
prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with
His brothers." (Acts
He later uses
this same verb to describe the early church in Jerusalem as
(proskartereo) themselves to the apostles' teaching and to
fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer." (Acts
Again we find
the verb describing the early church
"Day by day continuing (proskartereo) with one mind in the temple, and breaking
bread from house to house... taking their meals together with gladness
and sincerity of heart." (Acts
apostles of the early church declared that
"we will devote
(proskartereo) ourselves to prayer, and to the ministry of
the word." (Acts 6:4)
Paul uses this
verb in the practical section of Romans exhorting the saints to be
in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted (proskartereo) to prayer." (Ro
In Romans 13 Paul writes that
for because of this (i.e., God
ordained human government and demands submission to it) you also
pay taxes (Greek word refers specifically to taxes paid by
individuals, especially those in a conquered nation as tribute to
foreign rulers which makes the tax even more onerous), for rulers
are servants of God, devoting (proskartereo)
themselves to this very thing." (Ro 13:6-note)
Here proskartereo is taken by some as referring to the
unceasing activity of the tax collector, a picture illustrating the
continuous energy implied by the verb proskartereo. If the
church demonstrated in its prayer life the dedication and persistence
of the government in its collection of revenue, then the church would
indeed have little to fear from the gates of hell! There would be no
question of the truthfulness of the stanza,
“Satan trembles when he
sees the weakest saint upon his knees.” (quote from
then means to attend constantly upon a person or thing.
Proskartereo implies intensification of strength and
persistent devotion. We are to be strong in our devotion to prayer,
making it a priority nothing can dislodge.
Only after you talk to God about needy people are you ready to talk to
needy people about God.
Even for the best of us, there come times when prayer seems to be
unavailing and to penetrate no farther than the walls of the room in
which we pray. At such a time the remedy is not to stop but to go on
praying. Spiritual dryness cannot last the man who prays. Don't give
John Piper says...
I have often said that one of the reasons we feel so weak
in our prayer lives is that we have tried to make a domestic intercom
out of a wartime walkie talkie. Prayer is not designed as an intercom
between us and God to serve the domestic comforts of the saints. It's
designed as a walkie talkie for spiritual battlefields. It's the link
between active soldiers and their command headquarters, with its
unlimited fire-power and air cover and strategic wisdom.
[word study]) is the most frequent NT word for prayer, stresses
fervency, always refers to prayer to God and to praying with a definite aim.
Solomon writes that
the prayer of the upright is His delight."
Beloved, do you desire to delight your heavenly Father? Then "devote
yourself to prayer".
Fill to the brim the
golden bowls full of incense (fragrant spices and gums for burning), which are the prayers (all the prayers
ever prayed) of the saints. (see note
commenting on (Revelation
has written "according to our text, our prayers are kept in vials
or bowls. How full is yours?" (Courson,
J: Jon Courson's Application Commentary: NT. Nelson. 2004
John Piper writes of...
a story about D. L. Moody
making a visit to Scotland in the 1800's and opening one of his talks
at a local grade school with the rhetorical question, What is prayer?
To his amazement, hundreds of children's hands went up. So he decided
to call on a lad near the front, who promptly stood up and said,
"Prayer is an offering up of our desires unto God, in the name of
Christ, by the help of his Spirit, with confession of our sins, and
thankful acknowledgment of his mercies." This is the answer to
question #78 in the Westminster Catechism. To this Moody responded by
saying, "Be thankful, son, that you were born in Scotland." (Devote
Yourselves to Prayer, a sermon by John Piper)
A similar exhortation is to pray without ceasing, (1Th
enjoins, not uninterrupted, but constantly recurring prayer. Like
every other spiritual activity, such a devoted attitude toward prayer
calls for diligence, lest its power be forgotten and its occasions and
opportunities be allowed to slip away. The maintenance of
an effective spiritual life depends upon intercourse with the God of
Steadfastness in prayer is to be our continual mindset because of the many hindrances
to fervent prayer which are inherent in the nature (saved but still
weak in these bodies of flesh) and in the surroundings (busyness) of believers.
While the chief emphasis of this
last chapter of Colossians is upon the Christian’s life in the world,
Paul fittingly begins with prayer since it is the foundation and
source of power for such a life.
John MacArthur records the following story illustrating the
boldness believers should have when wrestling with God in prayer...
In 1540 Luther’s great
friend and assistant, Friedrich Myconius, became sick and was
expected to die within a short time. On his bed he wrote a
loving farewell note to Luther with a trembling hand. Luther
received the letter and sent back a reply: “I command thee in
the name of God to live because I still have need of thee in the
work of reforming the church.… The Lord will never let me hear
that thou art dead, but will-permit thee to survive me. For this
I am praying, this is my will, and may my will be done, because
I seek only to glorify the name of God.”Those words are
shocking to us, but they were certainly heartfelt. Although
Myconius had already lost the ability to speak when Luther’s
letter came, he recovered completely and lived six more years to
survive Luther himself by two months. (MacArthur,
J. Colossians. Chicago: Moody Press
Piper writes that prayer
A Wartime Walkie-Talkie, Not a
Domestic Intercom. Prayer is the walkie-talkie on the battlefield of
the world. It calls on God for courage (Ephesians 6:19). It calls in
for troop deployment and target location (Acts 13:1, 2, 3). It calls in
for protection and air cover (Matthew 6:13; Luke 21:36). It calls in
for firepower to blast open a way for the Word (Colossians 4:3). It
calls in for the miracle of healing for the wounded soldiers (James
5:16). It calls in for supplies for the forces (Matthew 6:11;
Philippians 4:6). And it calls in for needed reinforcements (Matthew
9:38). This is the place of prayer—on the battlefield of the world. It
is a wartime walkie-talkie for spiritual warfare, not a domestic
intercom to increase the comforts of the saints. And one of the
reasons it malfunctions in the hands of so many Christian soldiers is
that they have gone AWOL. (Piper, J. The Pleasures of God:
Meditations on God's delight in Being God. Page
343-372. Sisters, Or.: Multnomah
It is interesting to remark how
large a portion of Sacred Writ is occupied with the subject of prayer,
either in furnishing examples, enforcing precepts, or pronouncing
promises. We scarcely open the Bible before we read, "Then began men
to call upon the name of the Lord;" and just as we are about to close
the volume, the "Amen" of an earnest supplication meets our ear.
Instances are plentiful. Here we find a wrestling Jacob-there a Daniel
who prayed three times a day-and a David who with all his heart called
upon his God. On the mountain we see Elias; in the dungeon Paul and
Silas. We have multitudes of commands, and myriads of promises. What
does this teach us, but the sacred importance and necessity of prayer?
We may be certain that whatever God has made prominent in his Word, he
intended to be conspicuous in our lives. If he has said much about
prayer, it is because he knows we have much need of it. So deep are
our necessities, that until we are in heaven we must not cease to
pray. Dost thou want nothing? Then, I fear thou dost not know thy
poverty. Hast thou no mercy to ask of God? Then, may the Lord's mercy
show thee thy misery! A prayerless soul is a Christless soul. Prayer
is the lisping of the believing infant, the shout of the fighting
believer, the requiem of the dying saint falling asleep in Jesus. It
is the breath, the watchword, the comfort, the strength, the honour of
a Christian. If thou be a child of God, thou wilt seek thy Father's
face, and live in thy Father's love. Pray that this year thou mayst be
holy, humble, zealous, and patient; have closer communion with Christ,
and enter oftener into the banqueting-house of his love. Pray that
thou mayst be an example and a blessing unto others, and that thou
mayst live more to the glory of thy Master. The motto for this year
must be, "Continue in prayer." (Morning and Evening)
ALERT IN IT: gregorountes (PAPMPN) en aute:
(Matthew 26:41; Mark 13:33; Luke 21:36; 1Peter 4:7)
Keeping alert (1127)
[word study] from egeiro = waken, rouse from sleep)
keep awake, refrain from sleep and so to remain alert, watchful and
ready to meet
danger or emergency. It means to be quick to perceive and act; being
on the lookout. The idea of alert stresses readiness or
promptness in meeting danger or in seizing opportunity.
The picture is of a sleeping man rousing himself and of being wide-awake
and fully alert. Gregoreuo is
present tense with
pictures one continually in a state of "high alert", ready to pray
anywhere, anytime, for any need and any one.
Gregoreuo gives the
sense of to wake from sleep and suggests the aroused conscience and
the keen attention to the task that ought to characterize the one who
conveys the idea of "praying with your
eyes open" as we see in Nehemiah where Nehemiah records that when the enemy
threatened the rebuilding of the wall
We made our prayer...and set a watch! (Neh 4:9)
Our Lord told two parables
illustrating the importance of persistent prayer both recorded by
Luke. Read and study (Luke 18:1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Luke 11:5, 6, 7,
8, 9,10) The point of both
those parables is that if unwilling and sinful humans will honor
persistence, how much more will our holy, loving heavenly Father?
In the present context
gregoreuo conveys the demand
for morally and spiritually wakeful activity, being alert against the
assaults of temptations to sin and the lust of the flesh. In
Gethsemane, deeply grieved to the point of death, our Lord found the
disciples "sleeping and said to Peter,
"So, you men could not
keep watch (gregoreuo) with Me for one hour? Keep
watching (gregoreuo) and praying, that you may
not enter into temptation; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is
weak." (Mt 26:38,40, 41)
and praying are both
present tense (calling for
imperatives (commands) indicating that the need for
spiritual vigilance and readiness to pray is not an occasional
occurrence but is to be our habit and lifestyle.
In his letter to
the Thessalonians Paul reminded the brethren
you are not in darkness,
that the day should overtake you like a thief for you are all sons of
light and sons of day (believers who are children of God, Who is
light and in Whom is no darkness at all). We are not of night nor
of darkness. So then let us not sleep as others do, but let us
(continually) be alert (keep wide awake,
cautious, on our guard, watchful against temptation, laziness,
lethargy and distraction and for our Lord's return-
gregoreuo) and sober (calm, collected, circumspect, sane,
steady, not complacent, not frustrated and not afraid knowing our
future is secure)." (see notes
MacArthur comments that
Because believers have been delivered from the domain of darkness,
they are taken out of the night of sin and ignorance and put into the
light of God. Because Christians are in the light, they should not
sleep in spiritual indifference and comfort, but be alert to the
spiritual issues around them. They are not to live like the sleeping,
darkened people who will be jolted out of their coma by the Day of the
Lord , but to live alert, balanced, godly lives under control of the
J.: The MacArthur Study Bible Nashville: Word
his tried and tested brethren to
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.
(gregoreuo) Your adversary (Greek word for a legal
opponent in a lawsuit), the devil, prowls about like a roaring
lion, seeking someone to devour (looking for opportunities to
overwhelm the believer with temptation, persecution, and
discouragement). 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." (1Pe 5:8,9-note)
The following article has some
sobering thoughts we all need to contemplate regarding prayer...
DEVOTED TO PRAYER:
WRESTLING WITH GOD IN EARNEST PRAYER by Virginia Stem Owens
- Christians have always interpreted the splitting of the temple
veil during the crucifixion as symbolic of their liberation from
the mediated presence of God. Henceforth they were “free” to
approach Him directly—which is almost like telling someone he is
“free” to stick his head in the lion’s jaws. For once you
start praying there is no guarantee that you won’t find yourself
before Pharaoh, shipwrecked on a desert island, or in a lion’s
This is no cosmic teddy
bear we are cuddling up to. As one of the children describes him
in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia, “he’s not a tame lion.”
[Jacques] Ellul is convinced that prayer for persons living in
the technological age must be combat, and not just combat with
the Evil One, with one’s society, or even one’s divided self,
though it is also all of these; it is combat with God. We too
must struggle with him just as Jacob did at Peniel where he
earned his name Israel—“he who strives with God.” We too must
be prepared to say, “I will not let you go till you bless me.”
Consider Moses, again and
again intervening between the Israelites and God’s wrath;
Abraham praying for Sodom; the widow demanding justice of the
unjust judge. But in this combat with God, Ellulcautions, we
must be ready to bear the consequences:… “Jacob’s thigh was put
out of joint, and he went away lame. However, the most usual
experience will be God’s decision to put to work the person who
cried out to him.… Whoever wrestles with God in prayer puts his
whole life at stake.”
Awful things happen to
people who pray. Their plans are frequently disrupted. They end
up in strange places. Abraham “went out, not knowing where he
was to go”.… After Mary’s magnificent prayer at the
annunciation, she finds herself the pariah of Nazareth society.…
How tempting to up the stakes, making prayer merely another
consumer product. How embarrassing to have to admit not only
that prayer may get you into a prison, as it did Jeremiah, but
also that while you’re moldering away in a miry pit there, you
may have a long list of lamentations and unanswered questions to
present to your Lord. How are we going to tell them they may end
up lame and vagrant if they grasp hold of this God?"
(“Prayer—Into the Lion’s Jaws”
Christianity Today Magazine,
November 19, 1976, pp. 222–23)
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Today in the Word -
According to a recent newspaper article, people are returning to the
habit of praying in restaurants. The article cited a poll by the
Princeton Survey Research Associates which found that sixty percent of
people surveyed said they pray aloud before eating in public.
We should applaud any sign that people are practicing prayer in
greater numbers. Those who regularly offer thanks for their food, no
matter where they are, reveal a habit of the heart that Paul commands
in these familiar verses.
But ""Pray continually"" (v. 17) seems like a stretch when you read
it, doesn't it? The text does not, of course, demand us to spend
twenty-four hours of every day on our knees.
But in seeking God's will for us in prayer, we need to be careful not
to weaken the force of Paul's words. Verse 17 comes in the middle of a
string of rapid-fire exhortations that help us understand his intent.
We can pray continually in the same way that we can always be joyful.
We don't have to be smiling all the time to be characterized by joy.
We all know people who emit joy the way the sun emits rays. They
choose to live this way. The joy of Christ is the atmosphere that
In the same way, God wants prayer to be the atmosphere we breathe, the
attitude of our hearts. A person who lives in a continual attitude of
prayer is someone who can give thanks in all circumstances (v. 18).
Does today's text suggest anything about how much we should pray? It
sure does. Giving thanks in everything by itself is going to consume a
good part of your time! And in special times of need or concern, you
may literally find yourself praying continually in the sense that your
prayer burden is never more than a heartbeat from your conscious
Let's face it. Praying too much isn't a big problem for most of us.
It's all that we can handle just to cultivate the prayer habit that
God wants of us. But we have a prayer Helper in the Holy Spirit. Let's
not ""put out"" the prayer fire He wants to kindle in us.
TODAY ALONG THE WAY - One way to help develop a habit of prayer is to
change some of our standard thinking. For example, we usually treat
the ""Amen"" at the end of our prayers like a period at the end of a
sentence. In other words, prayer is over, so let's move on to the next
thing. But instead of a period, try thinking of your ""amen"" as a
comma--simply a pause in the conversation. You may have to go on to
work or to your duties at home, but you can bring the atmosphere of
your prayer place with you.
ATTITUDE OF THANKSGIVING: en eucharistia: (Col 2:7; 3:15,17)
The word "attitude"
is added by the translators.
"With" is literally "in"
(eucharista from eú = well, + charízomai = to
grant, give) (Click word study of
eucharista) expresses gratitude, that
which ought never to be absent from any of our devotions; namely, the
grateful acknowledgment of past mercies, as distinguished from earnest
seeking of future mercies.
In the Revelation we find the
last NT use of eucharista, John recording that "all the
angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the
four living creatures; and they fell on their faces before the throne
and worshiped God, saying,
Amen, blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and
power and might, be to our God forever and ever. Amen (Rev 7:11-note,
are given in the present tense, and as in this verse touch first the
inward life of prayer and then the outward life of testimony. When
Christ touches the life of a man, the whole life is touched, and every
believer becomes a full-time servant of the Lord, although supporting
himself in various callings—lawyer, doctor, or business man.
Another thing that one notices here is the obvious importance of the
little things in the Christian life, such as the exchange of
information, prayer requests, encouragement and exhortation,
commendation of believers to one another, and personal greetings.
Hardly any aspect of the daily life of the Christian is so
insignificant that it does not find place in the apostle’s
correspondence. This will find illustration in the section of
Colossians to which we have come in our studies.
C H Spurgeon
See how he keeps putting that
in—“Be ye thankful”—“with thanksgiving.” Why, that is the oil that
makes the machinery go around without its causing obstruction. May we
have much of that thanksgiving
calls us to
Notice the connection between
watchfulness and gratitude. “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being
watchful in it with thanksgiving.” Or, more literally, “Being watchful
in it BY thanksgiving.” The idea of watchfulness is vigilance and
alertness. You recall in the Garden of Gethsemane how Jesus admonished
the sleepy disciples (Matthew 26:41), “Watch and pray that you may not
enter into temptation.” In other words guard yourself from temptation
by watching in your prayer, by being alert and vigilant. But now
Colossians 4:2 says that the way we watch is “with thanksgiving.”
Guard yourselves with gratitude! (See
full sermon Guard Yourself with Gratitude)
John Courson writes that...
A few months ago, I saw a billboard
that said: Pray. It works. And I thought, True—but what if it doesn’t
work? Most of the time we pray small prayers like, “Get me out of
here.” And when they don’t work, we stop praying instead of learning
what prayer really is. Prayer is not to get God to see things our way,
but rather to get us to see things His way. (Courson, J. Jon Courson's
Application Commentary. Page 1326. Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson)
John Piper drives home Paul's point about the need to continually
devote yourselves to prayer
prayer is not some
small thing. It is not some marginal thing. It is not some
incidental thing in the Christian life. Prayer is at the heart
of why God created the universe. You may have the modern,
secular notion that the universe is really about great galactic
events and supernovas and remarkable expanses of time and space
and energy. But in reality the center of the created universe is
man created in the image of God. And the meaning of man in the
image of God is to display God's glory. And the way God delights
to display His glory in man is by being depended on through
Yourselves to Prayer, a sermon by John Piper)
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READ: Luke 11:1-13 - Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.
One of the great paradoxes of the Christian faith is that God wants us
to talk to Him about everything that is going on in our lives, even
though He already knows everything. So why pray?
If you've ever wrestled with that question, perhaps the thoughts of
the 19th-century preacher R. A. Torrey can help. Among the reasons he
gave for prayer are these:
Because there is a devil, and
prayer is a God-appointed way to resist Him (Eph. 6:12, 13,18).
Because prayer is God's way for us
to obtain what we need from Him (Lk. 11:3-13; Jas. 4:2).
Because prayer is the means God has appointed for us to find "grace to
help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16).
Because prayer with thanksgiving is God's way for us to obtain freedom
from anxiety and to receive "the peace of God" (Phil. 4:6, 7).
Besides these reasons, it's enough to read the command in 1
Thessalonians 5:17, "Pray without ceasing," and realize that God wants
us to talk with Him. Yes, He is all-knowing, but He also desires our
fellowship. When we seek God's face in prayer, we strengthen our
relationship with Him. That's the most important reason to pray. —Dave
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
Since prayer is God's most gracious
Whereby He links Himself with man,
Should not His own more often say
To one another, "Let us pray"? --Sterling
Our highest privilege is to talk to God.
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Watch What Happens!
READ: Colossians 4:2-13 -
Continue earnestly in prayer, being vigilant in it with thanksgiving.
A missionary to Haiti was told by a doctor that she might have cancer.
A biopsy was performed and sent away for analysis. As she waited for
the results, she was filled with fear and could find no peace of mind.
Then one evening her anxiety suddenly lifted like a cloud. She had a
deep and inexpressible awareness that the Lord would take care of her
husband and children and their emotional needs, regardless of the
As she reflected on all of this, it occurred to her that it was
Wednesday evening--prayer meeting night in her home church back in the
United States. She also realized that it was the first Wednesday night
after friends had been notified of the potential crisis. These facts
convinced this faithful missionary that God had given her an
opportunity to sense His answer to the prayers of others on her
behalf. In addition, the medical report soon came back with the
welcome news that there was no cancer.
This true incident carries a needed reminder to all of us who are
Christians. The emphasis given to prayer in Colossians 4 highlights
the kind of support we should be giving one another. Let's pray for
the needs of others and then watch to see what the Lord does. —Mart De
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
When earthly help is of no avail,
There is one Friend who will never fail;
Just lift your eyes--the answer is there,
For nobody knows the power of prayer! --Kenny
To influence people for God, pray to God for people.
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IT'S THE KNEES. READ: James 5:13,
14,15, 16, 17, 18 -
Continue earnestly in prayer. —Both of my knees were hurting, and I
could not figure out why. I hadn't done anything to damage them or put
undo pressure on them.
Or had I? I recalled that over the previous few days I had been
working on the walls in our house, scrubbing them and getting them
ready for painting. And then I had painted them. All the while, as I
stood on the short ladder to reach the top, I had been pressing my
knees against the ladder for balance. I was, in effect, being
supported by my knees.
Then a new thought came to mind: When was the last time my knees hurt
because I was on them praying? It had been a while.
Although it's true that people pray all the time without kneeling, the
question I asked myself is a convicting one. Whether we are on our
knees, standing up, or seated, how often do we use prayer to support
ourselves? We can find help from many sources—friends, counselors,
books—but there's nothing better than the support and strength we get
from God when we pray.
"The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much" (James
5:16). Prayer has power. We are to "continue earnestly in prayer,
being vigilant" (Colossians 4:2).
How are your knees? —Dave Branon (Our
Daily Bread, Copyright RBC Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI. Reprinted by
permission. All rights reserved)
When I kneel before my Master,
I can feel His presence there,
And the load of care and sorrow
Seems much easier to bear. —Anon
Prayer does not require eloquence but earnestness.