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Discussion Forum : Devotional Thoughts : Taking Time to Pray -Luis Palau

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 Taking Time to Pray -Luis Palau


[b]Taking Time to Pray[/b]

What is the one thing that most often keeps Christians from experiencing God's making a dramatic difference in their lives? Is it carelessness? Lack of good Christian fellowship? Temptation?

May I suggest prayerlessness?

How often do you and I receive answers to prayer? Many Christians have no idea what it means to be a child of God who can talk with the Lord about a real need, let alone to receive a specific, valid, and recognizable answer to their prayers.

I could tell you Bible promises on prayer, plus some of my own experiences and those of friends, but I can't do your praying for you. You can read all the manuals on prayer and listen to other people pray, but until you begin to pray yourself you will never understand prayer. It's like riding a bicycle or swimming: You learn by doing.

Martin Luther said, "Just as the business of the tailor is to make clothing, and that of the shoemaker to mend shoes, so the business of the Christian is to pray."

The secret of Luther's revolutionary life was his commitment to spend time alone with God every day.

"Consider the lives of the most outstanding and shining servants of God," J.C. Ryle challenges us, "whether they be in the Bible or out of the Bible. In all of them you will find that they were men of prayer. Depend on prayer; prayer is powerful."

I encourage you to take time every day to talk with God. Don't just give Him thirty seconds while you're rushing around in the morning: "O Lord, bless this day, especially since it is Monday. . . ." What kind of prayer is that?

It is essential to set aside a specific time each day for personal prayer. Strive for order and faithfulness, but avoid legalism. On certain occasions you may need to select a different time during the day to pray. Nothing is wrong with that. But strive for consistency.

I have found the early hours of the day are the best to pray. So have such men of God as Martin Luther in Germany, John Wesley in England, Hudson Taylor in China, and many others. Evangelist D.L. Moody echoed their sentiments when he said, "We ought to see the face of God every morning before we see the face of man. If you have so much business to attend to that you have no time to pray, depend upon it that you have more business on hand than God ever intended." Make room in your schedule to begin each day alone with God in prayer.

On the other hand, prayer is something that should take place during the entire day. The Bible says, "Pray continually" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). At any moment, whatever the occasion, we are free to speak with our Father. Albert J. Wollen says every Christian can enjoy "constant, conscious communion with God." We enjoy this communion with the living God, who lives within us,through prayer.

"If Jesus prayed, what about you? What about you?" asks the hymn writer. It's always surprising to see how much time Jesus dedicated to prayer. He never considered Himself too busy to pray. As the obligations increased and as He faced big decisions, He went away alone to pray. How about you?
To Ponder

* Are you a child of God? If so, when do you pray to your heavenly Father? How would you describe your prayers?
* If you're not sure whether you're a child of God yet, I encourage you to read my booklet What Is a Real Christian? (Multnomah).

To Pursue

* Take a minute right now to tell God, "I'd like to enjoy a rich time of fellowship with you—a time so rich, I'll want to spend even more time each day alone with you, praying."
* Set aside fifteen minutes tomorrow when you can be alone with the Lord in prayer. Guard that commitment. Then, tomorrow, show up several minutes early for your appointment with the King of kings!

more info: http://www.palau.org/lpea/resources/article.php?id=1


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