Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: SWEET HOUR OF PRAYER (don’t write about the song) (04/30/15)
- TITLE: Time for Prayer
By Lisa Hudson
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I have a confession to make. Instead of writing it down here, perhaps it would be easier to say it out loud, as there is a chance it may be forgotten with time. Well, here goes; I do not believe I have ever spent an entire hour in continual, fervent prayer.
I have spent many hours reading scripture. I’ve read many books and commentaries on scripture, as well as books on prayer and communion with our Lord. But I have never prayed for an extended period of time, on bended knee, sitting down, or even lying down. I know I am the one that Jesus asked, "Couldn't you pray with me for just one hour?" To my embarrassment, I would have to answer with an honest "No, Lord."
I can't kneel for long periods of time, because my feet always fall asleep or my knees cramp up. When I sit and pray, I find myself either losing my train of thought, or I end up dozing instead of praying. The same tends to happen when lying down.
I have a dear friend who tells me not to fret too much. She says "A small child falls asleep in the safety of the arms of their parents. How can God be mad when His children fall asleep while in the prayerful comfort of His loving arms?" A beautiful thought, isn't it?
Without meaning to sound pious, I must also admit that I'm not sure if there is ever a time when I'm not in constant prayer. When I wake and have rested well, I thank God for my sleep, and that He allowed me to wake up. If I don't sleep very well, I pray that He will remain with me throughout the day, and help me accomplish the tasks before me.
When I lose my keys, or if I can't find a file, I ask Him for help. When someone hurts my feelings, I pray for strength and wisdom. When I have hurt someone else, I pray for forgiveness and for an opportunity to make things right.
When I feel burdened about something in my own life or if someone else is placed on my heart, I stop and focus on the conversation I need to have with God. If I need special insight before reading scripture, I ask God to make His Word clear to me. I'm guessing those prayers last ten, maybe fifteen minutes. I can't help but wonder if my prayers are sincere if I have to keep checking the clock to see if I have fulfilled the required sixty-plus minutes.
What I'm trying to say, is even though I cannot claim to be a, 'sweet hour of prayer' warrior, I can say that I do try to 'pray without ceasing' as we are also told in I Thessalonians 5:16-18; “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” (NKJV)
God is my constant guide and companion, and I hope and trust He understands my faults and shortcomings. He created me, and knows my heart better than anyone.
My heart aches for the disciples whenever I read about that night in the garden, waiting with Jesus. They had no clue what he was about to face, or how frightened he really was, humanly speaking. I think Jesus, the man, was hurt and disappointed. But I believe Jesus, God's Son, understood their imperfections, and loved them dearly in spite of their inability to maintain constant prayer. I believe this, because He still endured the cross for them the very next day. He endured it willingly, for all of us.
God is with me always. I have a twenty-four hour direct line to the Father, and never have to worry about losing a signal or roaming charges. In fact, some of my best conversations with Him are while I am driving. He delights me when He allows me to see a beautiful red cardinal in a tree, or a breathtaking sunset. Scripture also tells me I bring Him joy when I sing out loud, usually along with my favorite worship songs playing on the radio. Sometimes I become so overwhelmed by His presence, my praise comes out in the form of tears.
No, the amount of time spent in prayer isn't the answer... I believe it is the posture of our hearts throughout the day that pleases God above all else.
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