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Gordon Allan

Why prayer needs your full devotion!

You can’t treat prayer like a fast food takeaway. The secret is in waiting, writes Gordon Allan.

Hey, man of God... yes, you! What are you devoted to? Sculpting those abs? Your sports team? The promotion ladder? Polishing your car? Your family? Show me your bank statement and diary, and I will show you what you are devoted to.

Colossians 4:2 says, “Devote yourselves to prayer.” Continuing in prayer, consistency in prayer and encountering Christ in prayer gives the word ‘devote’ a richer meaning.

Dutch Sheets, in his book ‘Intercessory Prayer’, says, “Stubbornness is one of the most important spiritual attributes of the Christian life.”

Devoted prayer demands time and persistence. Most of us grumble at that because we are into microwaving whereas God is into marinating.

One of the best birthday gifts I received from my family was a terracotta cooking pot, some ‘bear claw’ shredders, meat rubs and sauces. The meat needs to be prepared with the herbs and spices, then left sitting in the sauce before being slow-cooked for an age.

I enjoy it. I need to wait for the meat to marinate and cook properly. All this takes time and, like many of us today, I don’t like waiting.

The speed and pace of 21st-century living has duped us into believing that everything must be instantaneous. But Father God encourages us to wait. The prophet Isaiah declares, “They that wait in the Lord will renew their strength; they will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint,” (Isaiah 40:31). Waiting is an essential part of devoted prayer.

Devotion is choosing and being committed to one thing over another. Let me ask you, “What will you choose prayer over?” What will take second place in order that prayer takes priority?

When I am devoted to prayer and my relationship with God, my ability to function as a believer, husband, father, friend, pastor and leader soars. Often we count prayer as a sacrific, when we should count it as an investment in the kingdom of God. Allow devoted prayer to direct your day, your diary and your desires!

Luke 18:1-11 brings further insight into the heavenly dynamic. It could be summarised as ‘do it’ and ‘don’t stop’.

It couldn’t be simpler or clearer. In devoted prayer, we meet with the Lord, hear his voice, encounter his holy presence, lay down our burdens, express our hearts, receive his correction, his affirmation and enjoy the peace that comes from being a forgiven son and an empowered saint.

Prayer Pointers

  • Prayer time – diary it to do it. If you don’t, you won’t!
  • Prayer list – it isn’t mechanical; it’s a method, so you don’t forget!
  • Prayer pause – stop to hear Father God’s thoughts and responses
  • Prayer pad – journal and write things down. It will encourage you!
  • Prayer pen – tick off the answers and turn them into praise
  • Prayer persistence – continue until you receive your answer, your breakthrough and God’s peace in your life.

 

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