“We squeeze prayer into the margins, rather than build our lives upon it.”
Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – November 6, 2021
Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving. Colossians 4:2, ESV
I recently lost an entire month’s worth of weekend work in the yard. Days normally spent weed eating, mowing, and trimming were instead filled with sickness, travel, and kid’s sporting events. As we came in and out of our home, rushing to and from one event after the next, I saw the yard growing more and more unwieldy, quickly resembling a field of wildflowers in a distant meadow, not a manicured lawn defined by care and attention. A few days ago I was finally able to carve out time for yardwork, and it was only upon close inspection that I realized how bad the situation had truly become.
Flower beds were overrun with weeds. The early signs of autumn had already left leaves in every corner of the yard. Grass along the fence line was several feet high. I knew this to be the case as I observed from a distance, but it wasn’t until I finally dove into the mess that I realized the true state of things.
Prayer is a bit like yardwork. An abiding life of prayer requires constant attentiveness, what St. Paul calls steadfast watchfulness (Colossians 4:2). If we neglect it, over time things tend towards chaos, our relationship with God drifts and we lose sight of his love and care for us. And just like yardwork, if we remain at a distance, it may not seem all that dire or urgent. We tell ourselves that prayer is good, but not essential. We’ll get around to it if and when the schedule allows. We squeeze it into the margins, rather than build our lives upon it.
In order for prayer to be a defining part of your life, it must become as essential to your daily rhythm as brushing your teeth, eating breakfast, or checking your email. Prayer opens your heart to God, inviting you to daily reorient your life to his ways, putting to death the desires of the flesh, learning to love what he loves and serve as he serves. Like a master gardener who daily tends to the health of their plants, we too must take the same approach to our spiritual lives, tending to our souls in order to ensure the way of death does not take root in the garden of our lives.
Father, save us from spiritual apathy and inattentiveness. Teach us instead to abide in your love day by day, resisting evil and turning to you as our source of hope and peace, we pray through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Do you have a rhythm of daily prayer? No matter how small or simple, choose today to cultivate a habit of intentional and repeatable time with God every single day.
Paul Zach: Crown Him With Many Crowns
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