Friday, July 22, 2011

You Need a Set Time for Prayer

In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.  Psalms 5:3

Daniel prayed three times a day.  He made and kept regular appointments with God.  You would do well to do the same thing.  If our body says to us, "Three times today you shall go with me to eat," why shouldn't we say to our body, "Three times today you shall go with me to pray."

We should not look upon prayer as just a routine to be endured.  It is not like punching a spiritual time clock, so that we get credit with God.  It is rather a means of continual communion with him. That's why we need to make and keep regular appointments in prayer.

The Bible says that we are to pray without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17).  This means that we are to be in an attitude of prayer at all times.  There are several things that you can do to help fulfill this teaching.  Let your life guide your prayer life.

The psalmist had a habit of praying seven times a day. He said, "Seven times a day do I praise thee" (Ps. 119:164).  That’s not a bad habit.  You may find it helpful to mark your days into shorter segments so that you might be constantly coming to him in the midst of the activities of life. It can help us live in moment-by-moment fellowship with God.

You might pray the first thing on arising in the morning and the last thing before retiring at night. That would be twice.  Then you could pray before each meal.  That would be five times.  Then you could pray at midmorning and at midafternoon.  A prayer break, like a coffee break, might give you a spiritual pickup throughout the day.  This would be a total of seven times each day.

You might decide to pray every time you miss a green light and are forced to wait at an intersection.  That could give you prayer ministries like you’ve never had before.  Besides it would be a whole lot better than fretting and fuming at the loss of time.

When you see a hospital it could remind you to pray for the sick.  A funeral home could remind you to pray for the bereaved.  A school could remind you to pray for little children. When you see the flag it could remind you to pray for our government.  When you see the church it could remind you to pray for the work of God and our missionaries.  These reminders could keep us on our spiritual knees throughout the day.

However, these expressions of prayer without ceasing are not to be substitutes for a definite time of prayer.  Most of the great men of God have had a specific time when they met with the Lord each day.  You need to be able to say that you have a definite time of prayer.  In setting a time for prayer it is not the amount of time that you set aside that is most important.  It is the fact that you discipline yourself to keep the appointment.  The amount of time will soon take care of itself.

Samuel Chadwick said, "Hurry is the death of prayer." So find a time when you can be fresh and unhurried and keep that regular appointment with God.  And, above all, don't be a dropout. Even if you don't feel that God is listening, keep praying. God's hearing does not depend upon your feelings. He hears you whether you think he does or not. Remember that when you use the hot line to heaven you never get a busy signal. So don't be a prayer dropout. Stay with it and God will bless you with spiritual growth and power.

Scripture to Claim:
Rejoice always; pray without ceasing; in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

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