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You can tell. If you spend time with someone for any length of time, you can tell. It becomes obvious . . . what they value, what holds their attention, what matters most. It becomes obvious what has captured someone’s heart.

We give ourselves to it. We weave into our daily lives the things we prize the most. It might not show up in every moment of every day . . . but it will become apparent, if we watch long enough. Whether it is the favorite team, our passion for work or family, our delight in special holidays and events, the preference we have for a certain kind of music. We devote ourselves, in big ways and little ways, to what is of greatest importance.

In writing to the Colossians, Paul touches on one of the things that characterizes those who follow Jesus.

Devote yourselves to prayer. (Colossians 4:2)

Prayer matters. Those who follow Jesus in such a rich life with him find prayer woven intricately into their lives. They talk with Jesus–about big things and little things. He is the one they bring into every conversation. They are devoted to prayer.

Paul mentions this “obvious trait” in Romans 12:12, saying prayer typifies those who know Jesus. In Ephesians 6:18, the apostle calls Jesus’ friends and followers to persevering intentionally in prayer.

Apparently the obviousness of prayer permeated Jesus’ life as well. How do we know? Besides the multiple times his praying is mentioned, it’s telling that the one thing his disciples specifically asked him to teach them to do was to pray. They didn’t ask him to teach them to heal the sick, or to walk on water, or to multiply bread and fish. They asked Jesus to teach them to pray. That was something they noticed as so characteristic of his life that they saw the need to learn to pray as he prayed.

I wonder. If you hung out with me for a few hours, for a day, or a week, would it be obvious? Am I devoted to prayer?

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