At our church we have designated this whole month to learn more about prayer. Learning how to pray, the do’s and don’ts of prayer, when to pray, why we pray, our heart condition to pray, and the different types of prayer are some of the things we have learned. The one thing that I have learned more than anything else is that God answering prayer comes from having a deep relationship with God. This will lead us to understand and know the will of God and what to pray for. Relationships can only grow over time and with effort. No one can do their best in anything in a short span of time. This is especially true in prayer. Like in the Lord’s Prayer in Matthew 6 it starts out “Our Father” reflecting a personal relationship with the one we are talking to. In our fast pace life of today we want things done NOW. We all know that a wonderful relationship takes time to build. The story in Luke 10: 38-42 is about two sisters, Mary and Martha. Martha is getting frustrated at her sister for not helping her attend to their guests. Mary is sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to every word. When Martha complains, Jesus tells Martha that Mary has chosen the “good thing.” About 10-12 years ago I had my own handyman business and was working about 50 -60 hours a week. Feeling overwhelmed with little time to be alone with my Lord I said aloud to God, “What am I going to; do get up earlier?” (I was already getting up around 5 am.) He then whispered to my heart, “Yes.” I then said to Him, “If you will wake me up I will get up”. I have not had to set my alarm since. A bible teacher that was popular back in the 80”s was a man named Derek Prince, and I remember he said in one of his books that while serving in Armed Forces in WWII the only time he could find time to be alone with God was at lunch time. He said he missed many meals of food but feasted on the presence and word of God. Relationships take time to build.
Prayer is much more than reciting a “wish list” as we are running out a door onto our next item on our list to do. It has to be scheduled where there will most likely be no interruptions. It also has to be longer that five minutes. I highly recommend 30 minutes a day to start. In that 30 minutes there will be time for prayer, meditation and the reading of scriptures. I pray that will grow into an hour. My first father in law Noah Taylor told me when he was a boy, probably around 1910, he remembered his mother would regularly go outside away from the house for a while alone. She would tell the children, I believe there was about eight of them, “I will be back soon.” They were poor farmers back then. One day he decided to follow her secretly to find out what she was doing. He said, “She would go into one of the fields to a tree stump and make it her prayer altar kneeling in the dirt. She would sing praises, pray and read her bible and sometimes get so happy she would dance around while singing praises.” This woman knew her God.
It is my prayer for all who read this blog to long for that kind of a relationship with my God, the God of the Bible.