This month, our meditation has been excerpted from the book entitled, Bound to Be Free, compiled by Jan Pit. In the following short quotation from Sister Maria (who has been imprisoned under severe circumstances in Mozambique; writing under pseudonym because of present danger), there is fodder for reflection and perhaps application:
. . . Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went
With our full schedules today we have little time to study the Word of God and pray.
We have either been busy—and thus too tired to pray--or we have slept in the next morning (because we went to bed so late!) so we always seem to have an excuse for not praying.
Satan does not mind if we work overtime—even if it is for the Lord—as long as he can keep us away from praying and studying the Word of God.
Somebody once said: 'If the first minute is for God, the whole day will be. If the first minute is not spent with God, neither will the remainder of the day.'
There is never an excuse for not praying. Let us get our priorities right. We will soon discover that the time spent in fellowship with God, will enable us to face the remainder of the day in peace and victory.
Have you lost your peace, your victory?
It can be found again.
Take time to pray and to read God's Word.
A moment of introspection: Two choices... remember those child development books which said to offer children two choices when asking them to do something, so that they would not feel overwhelmed and would find compliance easier and less painful? But the two choices of being “too busy or too tired to pray” trouble us as intercessors. Surely God will forgive our silence when we are too tired, too busy to pray and talk with Him. I always look to God's Word to see what He would have me know. Let's take a look, for instance, at being “too tired.” The writer of Hebrews, in Hebrews 12:3, exhorts us to “Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” Keep praying, it seems to say. The Apostle Paul, author of the book of Galatians, says to us readers in Galatians 6:9, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” And Jesus himself, in Matthew's gospel (Matthew 11:28), teaches us “'Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.'” Weariness is something that our Lord Jesus understands, which the Apostle Paul knew firsthand, and which the author of the letter to the Hebrews felt at times, too. Are we weary of praying? Keep going; we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Keep our eyes on Jesus, who kept going in the face of opposition from sinners; let His suffering touch our hearts, His sacrifice touch our motivation, and His divinity touch our soul—and let us find our rest in Jesus Himself.
Too busy? Haggai recounted God's message to those too busy for His work: (Haggai 1:9) "You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?" declares the LORD Almighty. "Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with his own house.” We are all busy; some wise person noted that we each have 24 hours to live, per day. In what way we keep ourselves busy, will determine our effectiveness in our Kingdom work, our intercession. Let us use our 24 hours wisely, for God's work, and not be so busy that prayer becomes a distraction, a mere chore, in the face of our jobs, our worldly cares and our pastimes. Slow down, and make intercession a welcome time of relationship-building and maintaining with God. We do not intercede in any rote manner. Our prayers are living and vital, messages of import--having divine repercussions and temporal results. Brother Andrew, founder of Open Doors, wrote a wonderful book entitled, And God Changed His Mind (...Because His people dared to ask; ISBN 0-8007-9193-2). In this book, Brother Andrew explores the ways in which our prayers can “really change God's mind.” I would recommend another book, by Bill Hybels, entitled Too Busy Not to Pray (Slowing down to be with God; ISBN 0-8308-1971-1). God desires time with us; His Word says “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” (Philippians 4:6). Slow down, and take the time to pray; bringing your requests to God.
Too busy to pray? That's in our power to remedy. Slow down. Let us get our priorities right. Take time to pray and to read God's Word.