Today my focus is on the fact that Jesus spent quality time in prayer and we should also.
Everything these days are expected to be quick. The microwave technology, fast food, cell phones, ATM machines, Facebook, twitter, instant messaging, and the internet have transform the mindset of our time. This expectation has crept into the church. We want instant gratification. Give me my blessings now! Why should I wait to be elevated to an office or position. Everything I need should just be ready for the taking.
I know that many things I desire, I have had to spent extended time seeking God’s direction. Spending quality time in prayer is not easy. There are so many things competing for our time. It is even easy to justify spending limited amount of time in prayer. There are even those that will say I just need to ask God once about a thing and don’t keep bothering him about it because he already knows what I need.
Prayer is not us informing God about what we are experiencing or about what we want or need. Prayer is the process of us aligning to God’s will for our lives. We need help to pray, that is why Paul reminded the church in Rome that:
“Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26
Sleep seems to overtake us so easily the moment we determined that we are going to spend quality time in prayer. The phone awakens out of its deep sleep the moment we decide to spend quality time in prayer. That relative or friend you have been wanting to talk to seem to call at just that moment of prayer. There is always something to interrupt your time of prayer. So, yea, it is not easy to find the time to spend in prayer that is why it takes deliberate effort to spend quality time in prayer.
The scripture in Luke 11:9 stated
“And I tell you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.”
The verse in context is about not giving up too quickly when we pray. It is a challenge to stay in constant and consistent contact with God in prayer. It is about being persistent in seek God’s direction. Let us not just give up so easily. Jesus in Matthew 4 spent 40 days in prayer, in the garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:36) he prayed until his sweat became like drops of blood. Jesus is our perfect example of how we should spend quality time in prayer. This is a healthy habit to develop.
We can spend hours watching a game or a movie but in prayer, maybe not. Here are somethings that have helped me prayed for extended periods of time:
1) Set aside a specific time
2) Locate a place, some place quiet and with few interruptions
3) Have a plan of what you are going pray about
4) Keep an itemize prayer log
5) Change your posture frequently
6) Identify scriptures that you will read during the time of prayer
8) Schedule some time during which you will stop praying and be silent
9) Pray audible
Lord help me to develop a healthy appetite for spending quality time in prayer. Help me to prioritize this period of my time so I can stay in prayer with you.