In Paul epistle to the Romans we can read: “rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted (Greek: proskarterountes) to prayer.” (Romans 12:12). Now, your version might say “constant in prayer” or “faithful in prayer”. I like the translation that says “devoted”. The word is used in the Gospel of Mark where it says “And he (Jesus) told his disciples to have a boat ready (Greek: proskartere) for him because of the crowd lest they crush him.” (Mark 3:9) A boat was set aside, set apart, devoted, for a specific purpose, namely to take Jesus away from the crowd in case they would become threatening. “Devoted” – dedicated for a task, appointed for it.
This word appears ten times in the New Testament, five of those times it is referring to prayer. The other four are:
- Acts 1:14 “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 2:42 “They were continually devoting themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer.”
- Acts 6:4 “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
- Colossians 4:2 “Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving.”
Now that we are approaching the year 2020 I want you to ask yourself: “Am I devoted to prayer?”
If the answer is no, maybe you should change your approach to prayer. Make 2020 the year of prayer.
This doesn’t mean that all you should do is pray. Even though Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we should “pray without ceasing”. This most likely refers to pray at every opportunity. Like praying with thanksgiving before a meal, or when someone tells you that they are not doing so well so you say a quick interceding prayer over them.
We should always thank Jesus that we are able to have this direct contact to the father. Jesus died and tore the veil so that we can talk directly to the father without a mediator. That’s why I think it’s important to not just end our prayer with an emotionless “in Jesus name we pray, Amen.”
Don’t get me wrong, it’s nothing wrong with the words, it’s more the way we say them. Usually many of us use these words (or a similar sentence) just to show that the prayer is ending. But we forget to say these words with zeal and with thanksgiving for what Jesus did.
So let’s make 2020 the year of prayer within our ECA community. Let’s be devoted to prayer and let’s say those prayers with zeal and thanksgiving to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.