The Priority of Prayer
It turned out to be “one of those days.” In the midst of some important Godstruck business we were trying to complete, our day became more and more compromised by the circumstances around us. Having face-to-face time with our daughter happens infrequently due to the miles that separate us. Naturally, now having a month’s visit with her, we expected to easily finish our DVD project, which up to this point had been anything but easy. We were getting oh so close, and we anticipated maybe an hour’s worth of work to victory. Our optimism quickly turned to frustration as the afternoon unfolded.
My son-in-law was to take our darling little granddaughters out on a daddy-daughter date, a typical activity on a Friday. This would have given us time without interruptions to complete our task. Due to an errand that had to be done on that day, Michael was unable to follow through with his plans. So, our granddaughters stayed with us, accompanied by their moment-to-moment needs that a three and a one year old tend to have. Soon the doorbell rang, and a couple well-dressed young men were on the front porch. Before I could say, “Someone’s at the door,” my daughter was out that very same portal talking to them. Apparently these fellows come around periodically, and my daughter and her husband believe it creates an opportunity for ministry to speak to them about salvation through faith in Christ. Forty-five minutes or so later when Kelley came back in the house, she got a call from a close associate who was having computer trouble. Kelley, ever the compassionate tech guru, talked her associate through her troubles. Michael was pulling up to the house by then, when another car did as well. It was a salesman for a home delivery grocery service that their friends presently use. Michael sat patiently listening to the benefits of the delectable meats and frozen veggies that were this company’s offerings. Kelley was periodically summoned to hear about the benefits of such a service. I do have to say that this “blessing” at least came with a free pork chop and bag of mixed veggies, which I sampled after they sat out on the counter for the remainder of the day, which by the way, was a quickly dwindling. The house was in disarray due to our busyness and the girls’ determination to be as creative as possible with all their toys. Kelley forgot to tell us until it was almost time that some new folks from church were coming for dinner. They did bring the pizza ingredients along with their two children and a good attitude about the hectic surroundings, and I went to the store to pick up salad and some items to make dessert.
The visit really was nice, but the same unfinished project was still waiting for us when the company left. As we sat down once again to try to finish, we discovered another mistake in it that needed more time and attention. I simply said, “I think we need to pray,” and we did. Within the hour everything was ready to go, and we were able to submit our work to manufacturing at the end of the evening.
You may be wondering, “What took you so long to bring the matter to God?” Frankly, in retrospect, I’m wondering the same thing. Why do we make prayer the last resort, when speaking to God should be the first thing we do before we tackle anything and as we are in the midst of challenges? Those challenges still may come, but our ability to deal with them will likely be strengthened by the provision of God’s grace. In the Gospels, Jesus showed His continued dependence on God the Father as He prayed frequently throughout His days on earth. His followers learned much from His example. The following account is found in the book of Acts:
1“About that time Herod the king laid violent hands on some who belonged to the church. 2He killed James the brother of John with the sword, 3and when he saw that it pleased the Jews, he proceeded to arrest Peter also. This was during the days of Unleavened Bread. 4And when he had seized him, he put him in prison, delivering him over to four squads of soldiers to guard him, intending after the Passover to bring him out to the people. 5So Peter was kept in prison, but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church. 6Now when Herod was about to bring him out, on that very night, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries before the door were guarding the prison. 7And behold, an angel of the Lord stood next to him, and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him, saying, “Get up quickly.” And the chains fell off his hands. 8And the angel said to him, “Dress yourself and put on your sandals.” And he did so. And he said to him, ‘Wrap your cloak around you and follow me.’ 9And he went out and followed him.”
What an amazing demonstration of God’s power in answer to fervent prayer! As many of you know, earlier this month we observed the annual National Day of Prayer. Many gathered to lift up requests to God regarding our nation, our leaders, world situations, public servants, the persecuted church and more. It’s wonderful that we as the Body of Christ take this day to make prayer a priority as we petition God for His grace, favor and will to be done. Perhaps we can commit to making every day a day of prayer and turn “one of those days” into an incredible exercise of faith and an opportunity for praise.
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