by pastor david
"Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.”
Prayer! Prayer is a very real concern in my own personal life. A survey by Christianity Today revealed that the average Pastor prays only three minutes a day. Another survey showed that 93% of students preparing for the ministry in a well-known theological college confessed that they had no devotional life at all! My only comment here is that the curse of prayer-less preachers is powerless pulpits and problem pews!
However, prayer should not only be the priority of ministers, but also the priority of the members as well! It should be the equal concern of both pastors and parishioners!
That being said, should not each of us set aside a specific time each day for prayer? It was the Apostle Paul who cried out, “that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His suffering”. (Philippians 3:10) The only way to “know Him” is to spend time with Him each day – listening to Him through His Word and then responding to Him through personal prayer.
God speaks to us through His Word and we speak to Him in prayer. That is called a dialogue!
Henry Ward Beecher said, “Let the day have a blessed baptism by giving your first waking thoughts to God”. It was the great expositor, Dr. Stephen Olford, who said, “If we want to pray well, we should pray early”.
When do you pray? Jesus prayed the first thing each morning. For some, the question might be, “Do you pray?”
The great Biblical characters we so often look to as examples of Godliness, prearranged their schedules to give God the first hours of their day.
• Abraham rose early in the morning to worship. Gen. 2:3
• Jacob rose early in the morning to make his vows. Gen. 28:18
• Joshua rose early in the morning to sanctify himself. Josh. 3:1
• Gideon rose early to seek God’s answer. Judges 6:38
• Samuel rose early to ask for guidance. I Sam. 9:26
• David rose early in the morning to battle for God. I Sam. 17:20
• Jesus rose early to spend time with His Father. Mark 1:35
This kind of prayer calls for solitude and silence.
Dr. F. E. Marsh put it this way, “The shining face of Moses did not come from a hurried call to heaven’s gate; it was obtained by dwelling in the Lord’s presence for forty days”.
Please understand that I am not throwing stones of guilt at you. I am simply challenging and reminding us, myself included, of the priority and privilege of prayer. Church, can we say with Christ’s disciples, “Lord, teach us to pray”? (Luke 11:1)
Pastor David Boggs
I hope these occasional posts will encourage and challenge you as we grow in Christ together.
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