Tasks—things we have to do—there is no shortage of these for most of us.
Make a list of them and keep in front of you all day so you can check them as you get them done. That makes for a successful day. A successful day today makes for a successful week this week, so let’s get to it!
Just as the sun rises on a new day and a new week, the compassion of the Lord rises upon us each day, new and freely flowing. Before the day and the week get rolling, the supreme task awaits our faithfulness—prayer.
It is a simple choice:
- Do we rush into the day because the day is rushing into us?
- Or do we wait for the power of Christ to envelope us as we pray?
The list of things to do today doesn’t change; it will be there calling, demanding our time. What will change is us. Will we attempt today’s tasks in our own strength or will we be assisted throughout the day by the paraclete, the Holy Spirit, our Helper who “comes along side?”
This is no small difference.
- It is the difference between unfinished tasks and completed ones.
- It is the difference between who we are and who we want to be.
Will the world in which we operate have to deal only with us, our sparkling personality, piercing intellect, and irresistible compassion? Or will the world have to deal with the real us—humble before God and greatly assisted by the power of heaven. There is a huge difference! Daily prayer connects us to the power source we need to get our tasks properly taken care of.
An essential part of prayer is the prayerful reading of the Word of God.
This is different from studying the Bible. This is an act of prayerfully consuming the truth of God. Daily reading of scripture as a part of faithful prayer builds spiritual understanding, strength, and endurance. If food meals are omitted for some earthly reason, (not fasting before the Lord) it won’t be long until physical and mental weaknesses will prevent us from checking off the tasks on our list. Our spiritual insight, strength, and stamina operate the same way; we need daily intake of the Words of Life.
There is no reason to “go it alone” today.
The God Who Keeps Covenant has promised to be with you in every meeting, at every task, and in every relationship. Task Number One—Prayer—opens your heart to Him on this new day. Through the open door of your heart, God will pour in grace sufficient for any task. Just as His mercies were new this sunrise, our commitment is renewed today in prayer—Task Number One.
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.
Luke 11:1-2 KJV; Matthew 6:5-13
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them…
“…when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. I say to myself, “The LORD is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.”
John 14:15-18 NKJV
“If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever –the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.
But I call to God, and the LORD saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice.
The Lord’s Prayer
From the Book of Common Prayer
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your Name, Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Save us from the time of trial, and deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are Yours, now and forever. Amen
Sweet Hour of Prayer
Words: W.W. Walford; Music: William B. Bradbury
1. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
that calls me from a world of care,
and bids me at my Father’s throne
make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
my soul has often found relief,
and oft escaped the tempter’s snare
by thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
2. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
the joys I feel, the bliss I share
of those whose anxious spirits burn
with strong desires for thy return!
With such I hasten to the place
where God my Savior shows his face,
and gladly take my station there,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
3. Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
thy wings shall my petition bear
to him whose truth and faithfulness
engage the waiting soul to bless.
And since he bids me seek his face,
believe his word, and trust his grace,
I’ll cast on him my every care,
and wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer!
© 2017 Stephen R. Phifer All Rights Reserved