Grow: through prayer

May 17, 2024
Featured image for “Grow: through prayer”

by Shannon Caughey

Spring is a wonderful season for many reasons, including the joy of spring sports. I also love seeing dormant plants and trees suddenly returning to life with all their marvelous color and beauty. Spring is a time of new growth, transforming things that have been stagnant and making them vibrant again.

This can also be a season of new growth for us. Perhaps it feels like we’ve been spiritually dormant or stagnant in recent weeks or months. This can happen for all kinds of reasons, such as: we’ve allowed the busyness of coaching or other responsibilities to squeeze out our involvement in what’s needed to progress spiritually; we’ve been walking through challenging circumstances that put us in a spiritual funk; or we’ve just gotten neglectful or lazy about spiritual matters. Now is a great time to seek God for a renewed vibrancy in our relationship with him.

What catalyzes this spiritual growth? By God’s grace and through his strength, we renew our commitment to engaging in foundational spiritual practices: seeking the Lord in prayer, studying his Word, following him in obedience, responding to his Spirit, and pursuing him in community. We’ll look more closely at each of these in this series of devotions.

First, we grow spiritually through prayer. Prayer is a conversation with God that flows out of our dependence upon him and leads to a deepening relationship with him. The role of prayer in our spiritual life is often compared to the role of breathing in our physical life: it’s crucially important! The Bible is filled with teaching about prayer, examples of prayer, and encouragement to pray. Here’s just one verse, Colossians 4:2, that urges us to prioritize prayer: “Devote yourselves to prayer with an alert mind and thankful heart.”

Col. 4:2 highlights three characteristics of prayer that can bring about renewed vibrancy in your relationship with the Lord:

1) Diligence – To “devote yourselves to prayer” is to make conversation with God a daily part of your life. Diligence is needed. As you exercise this diligence in coming to God in prayer day after day, you experience a growing closeness with him. This deepening relationship with the Lord leads to all kinds of fruit in your life.

2) Responsiveness – Praying “with an alert mind” is about recognizing that God is communicating with you, so you desire to be ready to respond to him. You talk to God, and you also pay attention to what he is saying to you. While we normally don’t hear an audible voice from God, he uses different ways to speak, lead, and work in our minds and hearts as we pray. You grow as you respond to what God is doing during your prayer conversations with him.

3) Gratitude – In addition to looking to God for direction and help, Col. 4:2 says to pray with “a thankful heart.” When you consistently come to God with thankfulness, something happens in your own heart and in your relationship with him. Gratitude involves recognizing what God’s already done—including in answer to previous prayers—and this encourages you to trust and follow him even more. Gratitude also honors the Lord as the source of your ability to grow. Apart from him you can do nothing of lasting value (John 15:5).

While so much more could be said about the crucial importance of prayer in growing spiritually, Col. 4:2 is a great place to start. Pray with diligence, responsiveness, and gratitude. Cultivate an ongoing conversation with God that flows out of your dependence upon him and leads to a deepening relationship with him. Trust the Lord to transform you and renew the vibrancy in your walk with him.

For reflection: What specific steps is God leading you to take to grow in praying with diligence, responsiveness, and gratitude? Talk with him about this. Trust his power and grace to enable you to follow through on these steps.



Before you purchase, give us a call (217-778-9615) to see if we have any resources in stock we can give you!

Athlete's Bible

The Athlete's Bible
Buy Now

Coach's Bible

The Coach's Bible
Buy Now