Before I start I would like us to turn out attention to 2 Timothy 3:16, â€œAll scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,â€ We must believe that all scripture in the Bible is inspired by God or else any sermon we hear is null and void. The scripture I would like to talk about is in Romans 12:12, â€œRejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be devoted in prayer ,â€ I would like to lay out how to and why should you devote your self to prayer.
But first I want to show you that being devoted to prayer is normal for a Christians; itâ€™s not some â€œsuper Christianâ€ activity. It is something that anyone and everyone who has a personal relationship with Christ should strive for. Ten times the word devoted is used in the New Testament and five of those times were talking about prayer. These are the other four times along with Romans 12:12:
Acts 1:14 (After the ascension of Jesus while the disciples were waiting in Jerusalem for the outpouring of the Spirit), â€œThese all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer , along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers.â€
Acts 2:42 (Of the early converts in Jerusalem), â€œThey were continually devoting themselves to the apostlesâ€™ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer .â€
Acts 6:4 (The apostles say), â€œBut we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.â€
Colossians 4:2 (Paul says to all of us), â€œDevote yourselves to prayer , keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.â€
Before I get into what is being devoted to prayer I would like to point our things that are not being devoted to prayer. If these are the only ways/times you pray I would say that you are not devoted to prayer. Praying only as crises enter your life.
Praying only at meal times. A short â€œnow I lay me down to sleepâ€ prayer at the end of the day. Hit and miss â€œHelp me, Lordâ€ in the car as you need a parking place. Now theirs nothing wrong with these prayers and should be times that we pray, but if these are the only times we pray we are not being devoted. Being devoted to prayer does not mean that all we do is pray anymore than a husband being devoted to his wife means all he does is hang out with his wife. But his devotion to her affects everything in his life and causes him to hive himself to her in man different ways.
So why should we pray? There are three key reasons that we should pray The Bible tells us to pray and we should do what God says. God created us while we were in our motherâ€™s womb and he knows every little detail about us. On top of that he wants a personal relationship with all of us. Prayer is our means of communication with Him. The needs in your life, and in your family, and in this church and other churches, and in the cause of world missions, and in our culture at large are huge and desperate. We canâ€™t handle our problems on our own. Our needs are far too great for any man, including yourself, to handle on our own.
A third reason to pray is because God acts when we pray. Jesus said while preaching â€œAsk, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks reveives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone?â€ God will act when we pray.
So we pray because God tells us to, our need are there, and He acts when we pray.
So now how do we pray, and devote our selves to prayer? If we donâ€™t pray this way our prayer life F-A-D-E-S.
F- Free and Formed (content)
We should pray whatâ€™s on our hearts but we should also look in scripture and pray as they did. We should look up prayers and pray as we are shown how to. If we pray too free it will become shallow, but if we pray too formed it will become mechanical.
A- Alone and Assembled
Our relationship with Christ is a personal relationship and we should long to be alone with our savior and have communication with Him. But we see from examples in the New Testament that believers are made to fellowship together and while together we are to pray with/for one another.
D- Desperate and Delighted
We should come to God with our problems, and with our triumphs. This isnâ€™t an either or instance, we shouldnâ€™t only come to God with our problems, as well as we shouldnâ€™t only come to God with our triumphs. We should always want to come to Him with what ever situation we are in. He meets us where we are.
E- Explosive and Extended (length)
We donâ€™t always have time to get alone and spend a long time with God, and thatâ€™s fine. During the day we should always be thinking about people and things we can pray for. And we should pray about thing when they come to our minds. Real quick, short prayers are as affective as long prayers but we donâ€™t get the same connection with Christ as we do with long thought out prayers.
S- Spontaneous and Scheduled
We need to have a scheduled prayer time to keep ourselves in check. If we get out of a scheduled prayer time then we begin to stop praying altogether, but that doesnâ€™t mean we can only pray at those times. We, as Christians, donâ€™t have to wait until a certain time of day, or point in a certain direction to pray. We are free to pray when ever and as often as we want.
In closing I would like to remind you that this isnâ€™t advanced Christianity, this is the basicâ€™s to growing spiritually in Christ. I would also like to warn you to guard yourselves against any thought that may cause you to begin to think that you are become so spiritual that you no longer need to pray. We should follow Jesusâ€™ example by praying. If the Savior of the world prayed then we too should devote ourselves to prayer.