WITHDRAW OFTEN TO PRAY
“God waits for you to communicate with Him. You have instant, direct access to God. God loves mankind so much, and in a very special sense His children, that He has made Himself available to you at all times.” – Wesley L. Duewel
Luke tells us that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Two words stand out here: often and withdrew. These two words provide a model for preparing to pray.
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
Jesus made a priority of his relationship with his Father. Even when he had heavy demands on his schedule, he took time to pray. He took time away from his human relationships and responsibilities to make time for his heavenly Father.
When should we pray? Jesus prayed frequently. God intended our relationship with him to be more than a few minutes of prayer time on Sundays or a few times a week, but for us to live with an awareness of his presence. Prayer is our open line of communication with the Father.
Building a relationship with a new friend requires us to reach out with regular communication. Building relationship with God is no different. God is literally waiting to hear from us! Most of us stay in communication with our closest relationships throughout the day, reaching out with a text message when we have a question or see something funny. We share our lives with each other continually. God wants that kind of relationship with us, a kind of connection where we reach for each other throughout our day. Frequency in prayer builds intimacy in our relationship with Jesus.
What would it look like if you created some margins in your day instead of scheduling tasks and appointments back to back? Those gaps give the Holy Spirit some space to speak. Prayer is about talking to God, but it is also about hearing Him talk to us as well.
Thoughts for increasing your prayer frequency
- Set some reminders in your phone throughout your day to remind you to connect with God in prayer for a few minutes.
- Set aside some time in your calendar to make a regular appointment with God.
- Ask God to remind you and interrupt your day to focus on him.
- Create some margins in your day instead of scheduling it completely full
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Praying with Jesus by James Banks