I’m part of a Bible study group right now focusing on the War Room movie. The first couple of days have been about if you’re hot, cold, or lukewarm with God as well as your relationship in the church. Ultimately, it will be about prayer life and how it can things in your world.
The other day I was cleaning and found a CD I had put up by Beth Stephens about prayer. She is a phenomenal pastor (yes, I said SHE) and had a great message about prayer. It actually brought me to tears when I was driving because she started asking tough questions like:
When’s the last time you stayed up all night praying for your unsaved loved ones?
When did you just pray for 6 hours?
Just one hour?
Have your children and grandchildren heard you crying out to God for them?
Honestly, I can’t say I’ve ever prayed for one hour continuously for something. I’m ashamed to admit it and I feel convicted to begin working on that area of my life. My longest prayers are maybe 15 minutes to this point.
Beth tells of how her grandmother remembers going to church on Sunday morning, then everyone would go to their houses and have a quick bite of lunch, not bothering to do the dishes, but throwing a bed sheet over the table for later. Then, they would go into the fields and pray as a church. By the time Sunday evening service came, people were filled with the Holy Ghost and falling in the doors of the church.
As Christians, our prayer lives should be strong, regular, and never-ceasing. Easy to say, hard to do, right? Yes, it can be challenging, but it’s a lot about priorities.
She also told a story of a friend that called her saying how her prayer life was weak and needed help. So, Beth asked her what she was doing right then and the lady said “Driving my daughter to soccer practice.” Then Beth asked what she was doing after that, and the woman said “Taking my daughter to gymnastics.” As Beth continued to ask her about her evening, the lady was then going to go home, have dinner, do homework with her daughter and go to bed. Sounds like a lot of Americans, right?
Beth’s point in the end was that extracurricular activities are all fine and good, but when these kids get to be teenagers and are faced with the hard decisions in life, is hanging from a gymnastics bar going to be what she needs? Wouldn’t you rather your children in the hard times remember your praying for them so they can call out to God for help? Don’t you want them to remember how much you cared for them in a Godly way?
I know this is probably rubbing some of you the wrong way for several reasons:
- I’m a part-time worker who stays at home with my kids (which in your eyes frees up a lot of time in my life)
- You’re always traveling 100 miles per hour with your own family’s obligations (and you feel guilty)
- Our culture has you believing that prayer doesn’t matter
Don’t worry, her sermon stepped on my toes, too!
It boils down to this – we make time to do what we WANT to do. Plain and simple. But as we make our schedules and go throughout our days, let us be mindful of setting aside time for prayer. It’s one of the most eternal activities that is going to matter in the end.