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Devote yourselves to prayer...

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with an attitude of thanksgiving: NASB

I just love all the different versions of the bible when it comes to certain passages like today's. In the Message Bible it reads: Pray diligently. Stay alert, with your eyes wide open in gratitude. Or in the NIV version it says it this way- Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. I chose the NASB version because I like the word attitude which if we are all honest with ourselves we all can have an attitude of some sorts and most of the time it's not one of thanksgiving.

The word “devote”means to grab hold of something and not let go. To me it means to hang on no matter what happens. You never give up on prayer even when it seems useless.The dictionary defines devotion as profound dedication; religious observance or worship; a form of prayer or worship for special use. No matter what way you look at just thisword Devote - it still comes out meaning to always be ready to pray. Pray when you feel like it, pray when you don’t feel like it. Pray when you believe in it, pray when you doubt it. Pray when your heart is filled with faith, pray when you do it by habit. Do you ever feel like giving up? Paul says, “Keep at it!”

The next two beautiful words are keeping alert which means to “stay awake.” Have you ever noticed how easy it is to be distracted when you pray? Just as you bow your head, the phone rings, or some music distracts you, or you suddenly remember that you have to check the roast in the oven. A thousand things come crowding into your mind. Sometimes it seems as if the enemy's best work comes when we decide to pray. He unloads his full armory of distractions against us. Or perhaps you decide to spend an hour in prayer. So you get on your knees and begin to pray. You pray for yourself, the members of your family, all your friends, the leaders of your church, the missionaries you know, then all the missionaries in the world, then every country in the world. When you feel like it has been close to an hour you look up and discover you’ve only been prayingfor fifteen minutes! Bottom line here is keeping alert to the enemies arrows bythe distractions or by the disappointments you may feel when you continue to pray the same prayer year after year.

Then next for this short but powerful sentence is “attitude of gratitude or thanksgiving as stated in the NASB,” First things first and that is first, when you wake up in the morning, take time to give thanks to the Lord for the dayt hat stretches before you. Thank him in advance for all that will happen that day. Do it before your feet hit the floor. Second, when you are tempted to lose your temper during the day, instead of counting to ten, take a few seconds to count ten blessings you have received. You may find that your anger has melted away. Third, when you are interrupted (as we all are every day), instead of being exasperated, remember that God rules over the “interruptions” of life, and what seems an “interruption” to us is really his rearrangement of our plans. So take time to thank him for the interruptions as they come to you. Fourth, when you climb into your bed at night, take time again to review the day, giving thanks for the blessings you have experienced and for God’s protection every step of the way.

Joy to you and may your day be one of true devotion to our Lord...Thank you to Keep Believing Mnistries for your words.

Joyfully, Cindy

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