Colossians, Day 7
Scripture: Colossians 4:1-18
Observation: As Paul finishes his letter to the Colossians, he encourages them to devote themselves to prayer and live wisely among those who don’t yet believe. He ends with notes and greetings to the Colossians.
Application: We all have things we’re devoted to – family, relationships, careers, hobbies, sports. I’ve got quite a few things I’m devoted to – and one of my deepest devotions is meal planning. (Yes, as in making menus and planning out meals. Don't judge.)
I take it pretty seriously. Every week, I go through my fridge, my freezer, and my cabinets, pull up Pinterest, open up a few cookbooks, check out store flyers, and get to work on making a menu and grocery list for the week. You know those crazy people that walk around the grocery store with meal planning worksheets and lists organized by departments? I am those people. (For the record, my favorite recipe sites include this one, this one, and this one.)
When we’re devoted to something, we’re all in. We’ll do it often and with passion. It fuels us, it drive us. That’s the type of devotion Paul was talking about when finishes his letter to the Colossians:
“Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart.” (v. 2)
Prayer is simply a conversation with God that connects us to him. Prayer changes us – even when our circumstances stay the same, our perspective, our attitude, our behavior, our heart – changes as we bring ourselves into the presence of God.
When it’s comes to prayer, there’s no one-size-fits all. Just like we all plan different meals for our family, we all connect with God in various ways. What matters isn’t how we connect but rather that we do connect – and then devote ourselves to the practice.
Does prayer feel new or unfamiliar to you? Here are a few resources/practices I’ve found that help me connect to God:
- Journaling: I find that people either love it or hate it, and I am definitely in the “love it” category. I often write down my prayers, filling two or three pages a day with praises, requests, and confessions to God and jotting down notes from what I’m reading or listening to.
- SOAP: Like the method we use on this blog, I love studying the Bible and praying through the Scripture through SOAP – Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer. (Learn more here.)
- Pray First Guide: I love praying through the “Our Father” and the “Tabernacle Prayer” and this guide shows you how to do both, step by step.
- Praying through my day: Before the beginning of each day, I take a few minutes and pray through each part of my day – each meeting, each conversation I know I’ll have, each time with family and with others. It’s a simple but powerful way to invite God into my day.
- Praying for others: Our prayer is often most powerful when it’s focused on someone else. If I’m honest, it’s easy to focus most prayer time on me – so I’ll intentionally set a timer and use that entire time to pray for others. Sometimes I’ll write down names and then pray for them; sometimes I’ll simply pray for whoever comes to my mind.
- "Prayer" by Timothy Keller: If you're ready to take your prayer life to the next level, I cannot recommend this book enough.
As we finish our Colossians study, let’s make it a point to connect with God each day – and find what works for you.
“Come close to God and he’ll come close to you.” – James 4:8
Prayer: God, thank you for the opportunity to connect with you through prayer. What a gift to talk with you, hear from you, and become more like you. Amen.