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Signposts: Daily Devotions

Written by Renée Miller

Tuesday, September 1

Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
—Colossians 4:2

Prayer is too often seen as an activity that comes at the end of other responsibilities. We fit our prayers into specified moments during a worship service, or say a quick blessing before we eat.

During a crisis, prayer becomes more central, we will many times pray for intervention and comfort when we are in need of immediate help or attention. These prayers do come from our hearts, but a prayer life that relies only on a set of words addressed to the Holy One leaves our soul still hungry for more.

Rather than a prescribed pattern of phrases, prayer is meant to be an undercurrent, a slow hum, a solid and steady beat underneath the daily patterns of life.  It is meant to occur with the same generativity as the silent and unseen growth that causes a seed in dark soil to sprout. The seed grows even while everything above the soil seems unaware.

When we devote ourselves to prayer, we are committing to a steady flow of interchange between ourselves and God—a steady flow that persists even while we are busily engaged in daily activities. Prayer does not need to come to an end with “Amen.” 

Devoting ourselves to prayer means we no longer treat prayer as an appendage added to the other responsibilities of our lives.  Rather, it becomes the pulse that keeps our soul alive and growing. It becomes the constancy of the ocean tide, coming in and going out. It becomes the unbroken movement of our heart’s longing for God. 

Gracious God, when words of prayer form on my lips, let them descend into my soul where they can be prayed even when the action of life diverts me.