"Dedicated to strengthening and encouraging the Body of Christ."

Items For Prayer And Praise

By Lois J. Stucky

    "Ever live with eternity's values in view." This is a "sermon in a nutshell" we can well afford to listen to over and over. If we take it to heart we will work to get our priorities right, and prayer will be one of those priorities.

    It is difficult for some of us to give due priority to prayer because there is often little to show for time spent in prayer. Who of us does not like to see that we have accomplished something? We are conscientious. We want to produce. But when we give prime time to prayer and arise from our knees, Satan is likely to whisper, "Your time could have been spent more profitably otherwise."

    It takes faith and patience to believe that in spite of appearances, there has been accomplishment – accomplishment in an unseen realm, accomplishment that counts for eternity, accomplishment as real as we see with our eyes. Someone has said, "The most productive time of our day is the time we spend in prayer." Can we agree with that?

    Another difficulty in giving priority to prayer is that we have so much to do. We get busier and busier, and with important things, too. How we need the help of the Holy Spirit to know what the most important things are! Life has many cares and responsibilities. We cannot escape them and still do an adequate job of raising a family or running a business or fulfilling a ministry to the Lord. But we do need to learn from the Lord how to balance them with the right things at the top.

    And the battle is not over once we get into the prayer closet. Many cares follow us there. Some of us are waylaid by wandering thoughts, even worrying thoughts about subjects for prayer. Some will understand this better than others whose minds are fortunately not of that bent.

    Using the promises of God in prayer is an excellent way to build faith and to keep focused on God rather than the problem. The Bible is a help in prayer that we too often neglect. Might God's Word be a vital prayer partner which we take with us to the prayer closet.

    God can help us to have a praying heart from which flows prayer as naturally as breath flows from our lungs. Then whether we are on our knees or about our work or in travel or leisure, prayer will naturally flow.

    A. E. Reinschmidt describes a praying heart as one especially dedicated to the Lord for prayer, one that is pure, a believing heart without doubts, a humble and loving heart, a tender heart. To have a praying heart is the study and the effort of a lifetime, and something only the Holy Spirit can produce in us. Do you think it is worth the effort to seek a praying heart? I believe we will, if we keep eternity's values in view!

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