The Priority of Prayer

Bible Reading: Colossians 4:2-6

Devote 1: to dedicate by a solemn act 2 a: to give over (as to a cause, use, or end) wholly or purposefully b: to center the attention or activities of (oneself).  Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary.

God commands us, as believers, to devote ourselves to prayer.  Our lives should be characterized by purposeful persistence in prayer in all its various aspects—adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication.

Prayer is to be as natural to the believer as is breathing.  It would be fair to say that every human is devoted to “air.”  And if they ceased in their ‘devotion to air’ they would not stay alive for very long.  The believer is to be devoted to prayer.  As any of us cannot survive long without air, so the believer cannot fare well spiritually apart from devotion to prayer.

Jesus was devoted to prayer.  He prayed…In the beginning, during, and at the close of His ministry (Luke 3:21, 5:16, 23:46).  He prayed after ministering all day (Matthew 14:23, Mark 1:35) and through the evening (Mark 1:32-35).  He prayed all night (Luke 6:12).  He prayed amidst His own suffering (Luke 23:34). He prayed before making important decisions (Luke 6:12-13); and while amid a trial (Matthew 26:36-44).

Andrew Murray, “Oh, why is it that God’s children have so little faith in the glory of prayer, as the great power for subjecting our own wills to that of God, as well as for the confident carrying out of the work of God despite our great weakness?  Would that we might learn from our Lord Jesus how impossible it is to walk with God, to obtain God’s blessing or leading, or to do His work joyously and fruitfully, apart from close unbroken fellowship with Him who is ever a living fountain of spiritual life and power.”

The Apostle Paul was likewise devoted to prayer…Colossians 1:9, “For this reason also, since the day we heard of it, we have not ceased to pray for you.”  As was Epaphras…Colossians 4:12, “Epaphras, who is one of your number, a bondslave of Jesus Christ, sends you his greetings, always laboring earnestly for you in his prayers.”  If Jesus needed to devote himself to prayer, and Paul and Epaphras too, how much more then, do we. 

Prayer is not a religious duty to be exercised out of mere obligation, but a tremendous privilege, in the activity of worship, in which we we’ve opportunity to speak to God Himself.  Inasmuch as He loves us—and we love Him—prayer is as natural to the born-again believer as breathing is to us all.  It is also essential to us, for in prayer we access the divine resources of love, grace, mercy, wisdom and peace—that we might be sustained and equipped to meet the temptations and trials we face.  In prayer we also confess our sins and give thanks to God for His gracious and abundant provision!

Andrew Murray, “This great promise (unbroken fellowship with Jesus) is now the inheritance of every believer, although so many of them know little about it.  Jesus Christ, in His divine personality, in that eternal love which led Him to the cross, longs to have fellowship with us every moment of the day, and to keep us in the enjoyment of that fellowship.  This ought to be explained to every new convert: ‘The Lord loves you so, that He would have you near Him without a break, that you may have experience of His love.’  This is what every believer must learn who has felt his powerlessness for a life of prayer, of obedience, and of holiness.  This alone will give us power as intercessors, to conquer the world, and to win souls out of it for our Lord.”


Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
that calls me from a world of care,
and bids me at my Father’s throne
make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
my soul has often found relief,
and oft escaped the tempter’s snare
by thy return, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
the joys I feel, the bliss I share
of those whose anxious spirits burn
with strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
where God my Savior shows his face,
and gladly take my station there,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
thy wings shall my petition bear
to him whose truth and faithfulness
engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since he bids me seek his face,
believe his word, and trust his grace,
I’ll cast on him my every care,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!

Author: looking2jesus13

Having served as pastor at Lewis and Clark Bible Church, in Astoria, Oregon, for almost three decades, my wife’s cancer diagnosis led to my retirement and subsequent move to Heppner to be near our two grandchildren. I divide my time between caring for Laura and working as a part time hospice chaplain and spending time with family and spoiling my chocolate lab.

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