“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)
How would you assess where our nation is at today? That is a hard question to answer, in part because what are you using to measure health or well-being? Do you consider: the economy; moral character; the amount of crime; freedom; life-span? Or do all these and more lead to an opinion about where we are at today!
Do you think that prayer has anything to do with where we are at as a nation today? How many people know Jesus as Savior and have a solid relationship with Him that includes a dynamic and growing prayer life? And if there are few people who fit into that category, does that have an effect on where our nation is at!
We start the week off praying at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday morning before our worship service. You are welcome to join our small group in the Fireside Room as we pray together. On Wednesday evenings we have two organized prayer groups meeting at 6:30 p.m. One is online (a Zoom call). This is a good alternative for some who find it hard to get out in the evening. The other group meets at church. We read through Scripture and pray and then spend time in God’s Word. We also have a Prayer Chain that receives prayer requests and gets the information and distributes it via email. You are welcome to participate in any or all of these opportunities to join in prayer with those in our congregation.
I do not know how committed the believers at Colossae were in the first century. I do not think the Apostle Paul was overly knowledgeable of their prayer lives; he was not personally acquainted with them. But Epaphras either visited Paul in prison or was imprisoned with him and reported to him on conditions in the church at Colossae.
Near the end of his letter to the Christians at Colossae, Paul said to them: “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving; praying at the same time for us as well, that God may open up to us a door for the word, so that we may speak forth the mystery of Christ, for which I have also been imprisoned; in order that I may make it clear in the way I ought to speak.” (Colossians 4:2-4)
The Greek word translated ‘devote yourselves’ means to ‘be courageously persistent’ or to ‘hold fast and not let go.’ The word means to continue to do something with intense effort, with the possible implication of doing so despite difficulty. They were not with Paul in prison, but in a way they could share with him in what he was doing. Notice that he also encouraged them to be alert and thankful and to have a heart for evangelism.
I wonder if some who heard from Paul took his challenge to heart and ‘dug in’? And if they did, was there an effect on their culture? Do you think prayer has anything to do with where we/you are at as a nation? As a church? As a family? As a person?