“Devote yourselves.....”. What does it mean to be ‘devoted’? Of course it means to care about something passionately, but the Greek word that Paul uses here also has the meaning of ‘persisting’ or ‘persevering’ in our passion.
Recently the newspapers were full of Leicester City’s amazing football success in winning the Premier League. I suspect that sales of the team’s replica shirts will skyrocket in Leicester as people want to show their support of the team and somehow feel connected with their success. Leicester ‘fans’ will be popping up out of the woodwork everywhere!
But are these people ‘devoted’ fans? For a long time before Leicester City were successful, they were extremely unsuccessful. Where were these people then? A truly devoted fan is one who sticks with their team through thick and thin, in success and failure. They go to matches week after week, paying for their tickets, following the team news. They know the stadium chants, they know the names, backgrounds and statistics on every player, past and present.
If only we could be as devoted to our prayer lives as some football fans are to their teams! Being devoted to prayer means not just caring passionately about it, but being committed to keep going at it, whether it’s going well or not, whether we feel we are getting the answers we want or not. It’s a regular, daily, even hourly discipline. Sometimes it’s easy and at other times it feels like a slog. Regardless, Paul tells us to be devoted to prayer.
What do we pray about? Paul tells the Colossians to be watchful – to pay attention to what is happening around them and what God is doing, and pray about that. He also tells them to be thankful, and to pray for him and his companions that the Gospel message would be spread. This was good advice for the Colossians and it’s good for us today too.
Let’s make devotion to prayer our new daily habit – starting today!