We often think of devotion to God as something that is relegated to our prayer life. Being devoted to God in prayer is a good thing, to be sure. Being devoted to God in life is even better. In this quote, William Law asks why we wouldn’t be devoted to God in every area of life – how we use our time, what we do with our talents, how we spend our money – if he is worthy of devotion in prayer. Being devoted to God in prayer is great, unless that is the only area in which we are devoted to God. If that is the case, Law says, “Nay, such prayers would be absurdities; they would be like prayers for wings, when it was no part of our duty to fly.”
Now let any one but find out the reason why he is to be thus strictly pious in his prayers, and he will find the same as strong a reason to be as strictly pious in all the other parts of his life. For there is not the least shadow of a reason why we should make God the rule and measure of our prayers; why we should then look wholly unto Him, and pray according to His will; but what equally proves it necessary for us to look wholly unto God, and make Him the rule and measure of all the other actions of our life. For any ways of life, any employment of our talents, whether of our parts, our time, or money, that is not strictly according to the will of God, that is not for such ends as are suitable to His glory, are as great absurdities and failings, as prayers that are not according to the will of God. For there is no other reason why our prayers should be according to the will of God, why they should have nothing in them but what is wise, and holy, and heavenly; there is no other reason for this, but that our lives may be of the same nature, full of the same wisdom, holiness, and heavenly tempers, that we may live unto God in the same spirit that we pray unto Him. Were it not our strict duty to live by reason, to devote all the actions of our lives to God, were it not absolutely necessary to walk before Him in wisdom and holiness and all heavenly conversation, doing everything in His Name, and for His glory, there would be no excellency or wisdom in the most heavenly prayers. Nay, such prayers would be absurdities; they would be like prayers for wings, when it was no part of our duty to fly.
– William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life
What area of your life are you most devoted to God? How did you get there? What areas need growth? How are you going to get there?