It has come to this time when I shall write something which is very close to my heart, but not in the way you might think. It has to do with prayer. I don’t have a “prayer life” and this may be the case for many of you who might read this today.
I have found, in my life, I have a substantial prayer life when I’m involved in a crisis. There was a time when I created my “Prayer List” in Excel. I had a spreadsheet providing the name, date and prayer request from the individual and a column indicating when the prayer was answered. I have to admit, I had great joy when I was able to put a check in that column indicating an answer from God. However, there are no more check marks, no more prayer lists, and sadly it is the result because there is no more prayer, from Bro. Roy.
Oh, sure, I pray before eating a major meal. Not for my in between snacks. I have prayer before bedtime, but it’s nothing to what it should be. I have a semblance of prayer when I have my morning walk and cross this particular bridge. I need to be honest when I say even before I reach the other side the prayer has been distracted and dissipates to nothing and life goes on without further need of prayer, but let a crisis appear and it is, “Oh Lawd…!” Some of you know what I am talking about.
I remember those times when I found myself in jail or prison, I could not be found not praying! I had my morning, noon and evening time. I had my in between time. I had my evangelistic time of prayer. I had my personal time of prayer. I had my prayer time for family and friends. I had my prayer time to help me get through the particular time I was involved within the jailhouse. I had time to speak with God. I remember there were times when I would begin praying and before I would know it, and hour or two, would have passed. I remember distinctly hearing His voice speaking, comforting, and advising me. Interestingly enough, He continues doing the same: speaking, comforting and advising me even though I’m not spending much time on my knees with Him. He does not give up because we have. He knows what’s best for us when we have forgotten what is best for us.
…I have no excuse for not praying.
You have no idea of the many of you, and some of you know who you are, who have sent me requests to “prayer for them” or “pray for this situation” and what has been my response? “Has God stopped listening to you? He doesn’t need me to pray when you have already asked Him.” You see, I know what it means when someone asks you to pray and you don’t. And, God is not pleased with that 3 to 5 second prayer, upon request. How would you like in your desperate and trying times if God gave you 3 to 5 seconds of results?
When I used to preach I used to always say, “God will take time to listen if we take time to pray.” This is still true.
I know I need to do better, and will. Perhaps, now, I can ask someone to “pray for me”, as I find my way getting back on my knees to pray for myself and others.
July 15, 2017