Wednesday, October 12, 2022

A Man of Prayer

Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart. (Colossians 4:2 NLT)

Imagine how hard it would be to accept God’s forgiveness if you had hunted down followers of Jesus Christ and had been guilty of bringing about their deaths. That was the case with Saul, who later became the apostle Paul. He had many sins to overcome and forget, but he wrote, “Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us” (Philippians 3:13-14 NLT).

Maybe you’ve thought, “I’ve done some horrible things. It’s so hard for me to accept God’s forgiveness.” Imagine how hard it must have been for Paul to have his horrible sins on his conscience, but he discovered that he could find intimacy with the God he had known only in a cold, distant way through dead legalism and orthodoxy.

Writing to the Christians in Rome, Paul said, “So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, ‘Abba, Father’” (Romans 8:15 NLT).

The English equivalent for the word “Abba” is “Daddy” or “Papa.” Paul was thus developing intimacy with God. That’s because prayer characterized his life. We can’t help but notice as we read his epistles that so many of them begin or end with beautiful prayers.

Paul wrote to the believers in Philippi, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (Philippians 4:6 NLT). To the Christians in Colosse, he said, “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and a thankful heart” (Colossians 4:2 NLT).

Paul was a man of prayer. Does prayer characterize your life? It ought to. If you want to finish well in the spiritual race, then you need to learn how to pray.

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