Friday, January 8, 2010

Day 8: A Way to Pray: Pray with Devotion

Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful (Colossians 4:2).

“I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” - Martin Luther

The word “devotion” means “love, loyalty, or enthusiasm for a person, activity, or cause.” It also means “religious worship or observance.” It is from the Lation word “devovere” which means “consecrate.”

One could say “a wife is devoted to her husband.” This implies she is loyal, faithful, consistent, committed, dedicated, and loving.  She is full of fondness, love, admiration, affection, and care.

Or one could say that someone lives “a life of devotion.” This is a life of devoutness, piety, spirituality, godliness, holiness, and sanctity. 

A time early in the day to seek after God is often called “morning devotions.” Every single morning when I was growing up, our family had devotions. In these special times of worship, my mother taught me to pray. My siblings and I were all home-schooled and devotions were an important part of the day. We would always wake up, eat breakfast, and then spend thirty minutes in devotions. We called these times 10/10/10 because we would spend ten minutes singing along with a worship CD, then we would spend ten minutes in prayer, then spent the final ten minutes listening to a preaching CD.

During these morning times of prayer, we would often pray for missionaries, for our friends, for healing for sick people, for our personal finances, for God to save people in different nations, for our nation, for politicians, for famous ministers, and for each member of our family. We would spend time worshiping God and thanking Him for His goodness.

Every evening we would have another time of devotion. My mother read a Bible story to us every night right before we went to bed. She observed this practice so faithfully, that to this day, when I go home, my mother still wants to read the Bible story to me. I say, “But Mom, I am a grown man, I have heard these stories a thousand times.”  She says, “Sit down, you still need to hear a Bible story no matter how old you are.”

My mother was very devoted to her prayer life, and I think we should be devoted to our prayer life too.