The New Testament teaches believers to be devoted to prayer.
That sounds noble and all, but what exactly does that mean?
We see it used 5 times in the New Testament concerning prayer:
- Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. -Romans 12:12
- Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. -Col. 4:2
- All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers. -Acts 1:14
- And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. -Acts 2:42
- But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word. -Acts 6:4
In addition to those verses that used proskartereo (“devoted”) concerning prayer, there are 5 other usages of the word in the New Testament. Studying these verses can actually help us get a better handle on how to become devoted to prayer.
In the verses below, the usage of proskartareo is in bold. Think about how these verses help you better understand being “devoted” to prayer.
- Mark 3:9 – Then He told His disciples to have a small boat ready for Him, so the crowd would not crush Him.
- Acts 2:46 – Every day they devoted themselves to meeting together in the temple complex, and broke bread from house to house. They ate their food with a joyful and humble attitude,
- Acts 8:13 – Then even Simon himself believed. And after he was baptized, he went around constantly with Philip and was astounded as he observed the signs and great miracles that were being performed.
- Acts 10:7 – When the angel who spoke to him had gone, he called two of his household slaves and a devout soldier, who was one of those who attended him.
- Romans 13:6 – And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks.
These verses help me understand what it means to be devoted to prayer! It is a repurposing of sorts. It is a continual action. Prayer should be more constant than occasional.
To be consistently devoted to prayer, we have to train ourselves in this practice.
It does not come naturally. Just as the disciples’ boat that was purposed for fishing would be later devoted as a platform for Jesus to preach (Mark 3:9), we must take our vessel and repurpose it for prayer.
To “devote” myself to prayer means I must continually attend to it. Repurpose my life accordingly. Constant and consistent.
We must train ourselves to be in constant communion with God. Pray and ask God for help to repurpose your life as one who is devoted to prayer.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.