How is your prayer life?
Have you ever asked yourself this question? And if you have, have you answered it honestly?
A month ago, my friend and I were talking about prayer, about its importance, how we often felt the need to pray, and how we often took the time to pray. But there was something lacking. In our conversation, we both mentioned that we talk to the Lord throughout the day, which is a good thing, but we both acknowledged we had an area of weakness.
That area of weakness was listening.
See, too often, I spend time in prayer talking, asking, speaking and searching. While those are all wonderful things, there is a gaping hole. In truth, I don’t often listen. Because let’s be honest, in this busy world, who has the time to really sit down and wait for an answer? To sit quietly and listen?
Here’s the truth: if I have time to spend an hour on social media, how do I not have that same amount of time for the Lord?
A few months ago, I was challenged to spend an hour in prayer. One simple hour—which of course, turned out to be anything but simple. What I thought would be a rather easy task, turned out to be more difficult than I thought. Did you know your mind can wander in an hour? I didn’t realize how much mine did until I tried this.
But I persevered, made it through the first session, and found it to be helpful.
To be honest, I didn’t expect to go through it again, but a month later, when my soul was dry, aching for some spiritual fulfillment, I found myself in the Prayer Room once more. This time it was different. Something had changed One simple Scripture had changed my perspective.
In Matthew 26:40, as Jesus is praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, He returns to His disciples and challenges them to wait with Him, to spend time with Him, to be with Him.
And he came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And he said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak–Matthew 26:40-41
Was I or am I willing to give the Lord one hour? You see, all too often I complain to friends, or even in prayer that I want answers, that I am tired of waiting, that my prayers are going unanswered. But have I ever truly waited? I mean honestly. Have I taken the time to sit with the Lord, to be in His presence, to lay my cares at His feet, and actually listen to Him?
It was a bit of what I like to call “a spiritual slap to the face” when I realized that I don’t. Too often, I tend to simply cast up requests and concerns rather than take the time to be with the Lord, to simply be with Him.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.”
That’s powerful. The Lord asks us to wait with Him, to be watchful and to wait—to dwell with and commune with Him.
I say all of this to encourage you and to remind you that sometimes (and more often than not) the longing in our hearts is a desire to be with Him, to be in His presence, because nothing in this world can satisfy that longing but Him.
Today, February 1, our church began a prayer focus. We will be praying through the book of Ephesians this month, and you can find information HERE and at the bottom of this blog to receive the daily prayer prompt. But can I take a moment to ask you how your prayer life is?
You don’t have to answer me, but answer yourself honestly.
Perhaps you might find that you have an hour to pray—an hour to lean in and listen. Pick a few Scriptures, I chose 12, and set a timer. For 5 minutes, focus on each Scripture, praying through them, praising, seeking, listening, waiting, trusting, and before you know it, the hour will have passed. Can I share a secret with you? Each time I have done this (and I am no expert) I have realized that an hour isn’t long enough.
Like having lunch with a dear friend, the time has started to pass quickly as I sit in His presence and lean into His Word. The time moves quickly and I long to return.
That, right there, is the definition of quenching the soul. It is resting in relationship with the Lord and learning more about Him. Because the more time I spend with Him and wait with Him, the more He molds and shapes my heart. And I don’t know about you, but I know I need it.
So, now, when He asks, “Can you not wait with me one hour?” I can finally say, “yes,” and go to my resting place, which is at His feet in prayer. The question is, what’s your answer?
Can you wait with Him one hour?
Up-coming Prayer Resource:
We have a wonderful opportunity to pray together in February. Join us for Called to Pray: 28 Days of Prayer & Fasting. To join, text PRAYWBC to 84576.