I love prayer. I started a life of prayer when I was about 7 or 8 years old and have prayed every night since then. I grew up in a religion, that at the time didn’t teach that one needs to have a personal relationship with Jesus as Lord and Savior; to be reborn through Him. It wasn’t until my late thirties that I accepted Christ and gave my life to him.
While prayer is a spiritual passion of mine, intercession; praying for the needs of others can be overwhelming at times. It is an honor and a privilege to pray for others. Perhaps this is why it can sometimes seem overwhelming because I want to give each request back to God with the same heartfelt desire as the last one. I don’t want to offer up prayers ‘on the fly’ simply because life is busy. I want to take the time to pray for each request according to God’s heart.
Paul encourages us in 1 Thessalonians 5:17,18 to pray without ceasing because this is God’s will for us through Christ Jesus. And I wonder, what does it look like to pray without ceasing? Certainly, I talk with God throughout the day, sometimes, okay many times, out loud!
But, what about times of quietness devoted to the prayer needs for ourselves and others? A few days ago I came across a verse and it has been traipsing through my mind like a new-born doe learning to prance along looking for food.
One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer-at three in the afternoon. Acts 3:1.
During this time both Jews and Gentiles observed three times of prayer, everyday, morning, afternoon and at sunset. Peter and John were busy men, teaching and preaching and spreading the gospel was a full-time job for them and they walked everywhere they went, it would take a good days walk and oftentimes it would take days for them to reach one place to deliver the gospel message. Yet, by all accounts, they stopped and prayed three times a day!
This thought of stopping and devoting time to prayer three times a day intrigues me. God has this in his word for a reason and it gives me hope about the ability to pray without ceasing. What would it look like if we stopped and devoted ourselves to prayer three times a day? What amazing things would our eyes be opened to see? Prayer isn’t just for the benefit of others. Prayer draws us closer into a deeper and more intimate relationship with God. God gives us prayer for our spiritual health.
Precious One, here’s to your health!