They forbid people to marry and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. 1 Timothy 4:3-5 (NIV).
Before moving on from these verses, let’s talk about consecration. Key in on that last verse: “because it is consecrated by the Word of God and prayer.” Do you get that God just exploded a bomb in your life? Jesus Christ, who loves you enough to die for you, just threw a grenade and you and watched it explode in your face, blowing you to bits…and He was smiling.
Every now and then, the Bible drops these precious nuggets about salvation right into our laps using common language, words we often overlook. I say that because did you know that you consecrate your actions through the word of God and prayer? BOOM! There goes another explosion.
Get this: to consecrate something is make something sacred, to set it apart. You and I get invite consecration into our lives by praying. Through Jesus’ power, our ordinary lives are dedicated to His higher service. Sure, some people have a purposeful calling to be pastors and teachers of Christ; maybe that’s how you’ve been consecrated. Yet even the more pedestrian of us can be (and are) consecrated as hallowed, holy, righteous by God when we invite (as Carrie might sing) Jesus to take the wheel.
All that happens through prayer. Prayer: that conversation between God and you. Usually it feels one-sided but, if you look closely, it may just be that He’s doing most of the work. Have you ever felt more at peace after praying? Perhaps God immediately answered your prayer by giving you that peace. We will never know how God may act on our prayers if we don’t pray them.
And when we do pray, we are inviting the full power of King Jesus God Almighty into our situation. Hebrews 4:12 says that the word of God is a living thing, a sharp sword that cuts to the core of what we believe. It slices away things we don’t need and leaves what we do, namely Jesus Christ. Prayer consecrates us, sets us aside for something hallowed, invokes His power. When it does that, it cuts away what isn’t important or, like alcohol on a wound, begins to scour and heal. It isn’t our words that do that: it’s the Word of God.
Next time you pray, remember that you’re holding a consecrating weapon in your words. Boom! It might be the most powerful thing you do all day.
For further reading: Hebrews 4:12, 1 Timothy 4:6
Lord Jesus, I pray thanks and praise that You consecrate us. Help me to use this powerful blessing for Your good purposes.