PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT
"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving" (Colossians 4:2).
As the school year begins and we walk through our neighborhood by our local high school, we see the kids out practicing for football, cheerleading, lacrosse, etc. They’re getting back in condition as they practice physically, individually and as a team, to be their best. They also condition mentally as they grow in knowledge as school resumes. But what about spiritually? Luis once shared that Americans work hard to improve their bodies and minds, but spiritually we’re withering! How do we improve spiritually?
I believe it begins with the practice of prayer! Colossians 4:2 says that we can practice prayer in three ways: steadfastly, watchfully, and with thanksgiving.
Practice Steadfastly In Prayer
Jesus practiced praying. In fact He modeled this well for us, with steadfast earnestness! Athletes practice this regularly in spite of weather or weariness. Wouldn’t that be life-changing if we sought that same steadfastness spiritually in disciplined prayer?
"You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart" (Jeremiah 29:13).
Practice Watchfully in Prayer
The dictionary describes “watch” as “vigilance and expectancy as contrasted with laxity and indifference.” When we’re attentive in prayer, it requires concentration and focus. Jesus asked this of His disciples and He asks the same from us too.
A prayer life marked by watchfulness is one where the distractions of sleepiness, anxieties, personal struggles and conflicts are replaced by attentiveness and expectation.
"Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak" (Mark 14:38).
Practice Thankfulness in Prayer
A grateful heart keeps us humble. Expressing thanks during prayer reminds us that all we have is from God, and not because of our own efforts. God’s Word tells us that thankfulness is to be found in all our prayers.
"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God" (Philippians 4:6).
As we practice going to God in prayer, let us rely fully on Him instead of ourselves and see God show up in amazing ways through answered prayer. Be encouraged by Christ’s reminder to watch and pray. His example of steadfastness, watchfulness, and thankfulness teaches us to rely on what God can do through our prayers, rather than rely on ourselves. If we’re out of a routine of communing with God, let’s get back in the rhythm of prayer.
Will you join me in earnestly praying for Luis, Andrew and our Palau team? Will you watch with me in confidence to see how the Holy Spirit will work through the Next Generation Alliance (NGA) and City Gospel Movements (CGM)? Let’s pray together in thanksgiving for transformed lives through the Palau ministry by the Holy Spirit! Thank God with me for how well Luis is doing and how his cancer is being used for God’s glory!
Practicing Prayer In Jesus Name,
Please enjoy opening the regional updates below and keeping them in your prayers:
Africa | Malawi Prayer Summit Sept 16-17, Praises for Nigeria and more! | Report
Asia | God’s wisdom and favor to visit Harbin and Beijing in December | Report
North America | CityFest East Texas with Andrew October 4-6 | Report
Europe | Advance 2020 Summit October 12th, Events in UK, Germany and France | Report
Latin America | Preparations for Buenos Aires 2020 and Beyond | Report
Caribbean | Resources for Cuba, South Caribbean and Jamaica | Report
LET’S PRAY TOGETHER
Save the date now and practice the power of prayer with us: October 29th! Our next quarterly conference call, 1pm Pacific time, 2pm Mountain, 3pm central, 4pm eastern time.
“Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is valuable in every way, because it promises life both for the present and for the future" (1 Timothy 4:8).