Have you realized yet that we're halfway through January? Almost daily I'm asking myself where the time is going as another week quickly passes by. Perhaps that's why reading Colossians 4:2 stopped me in my tracks today. Devote yourselves to prayer. Devote yourselves to prayer. Devote yourselves to prayer.
Prayer requires time - and that time can be hard to find in the midst the daily grind. And honestly, sometimes I don't really even want to try to find the time. "God - I'm busy doing your work - help me - give me your vision - teach me your wisdom - be here". How demanding and selfish prayer can become. In a consumerist culture our prayers become another fast food order. Hollow, shallow, empty, small - prayer becomes a token in the game of religion, rather than a lifeline to our provider and sustainer. Our words become rhymes that we echo out of habit, and we can begin to believe that nothing is changing - our prayers aren't doing anything - God's not moving.
Friends - if you're in this place of doubt and questioning I want to encourage you and remind you that God is moving - and he hears our prayers and he answers our prayers. God is ushering in his kingdom and we have the opportunity to be part of his grand reveal - and we can see his heart, understand more fully our role and calling, live the kingdom now - when we devote ourselves to prayer.
As a deacon team this year I want to encourage you to devote yourselves to prayer - not only as individuals, but also as a group. Set aside a specific time at each of your meetings to pray for the people of your congregation and community. Figure out a way to ensure that you hold each person in prayer once this year - dividing the names in the church directory by the number of meetings you have is one place to start. Pray intentionally for each person - that they might experience God's peace and freedom. Pray that them may be recipients of his wisdom. Pray that they will know they are deeply loved. And pray that they may discover their own calling - their role in bringing the kingdom here and now.
I promise that if you are faithful in this you will see God moving. You will see more of his kingdom come. Your congregation will be transformed. And you will become stronger leaders.
Will you join me this year in praying for the people of our respective communities?