“My beloved spoke and said to me, ‘Arise, my darling, my beautiful one, come with me.’”1
Martha was someone who learned a lesson on the importance of valuing above all things the peace and inspiration that Jesus gives. Once, when Jesus came to visit, she was so concerned with the duties of a hostess that she rushed and fussed, but in the hurry and flurry of her busy activities, she didn’t make time for Him.2 There’s a lesson here for all of us.
Do you sometimes forget to pray, or not know where to start or how to go about it when you do remember? It takes a while for prayer to become a habit, but it’s one that’s worth cultivating because it can solve so many problems, sometimes before they even happen. If your prayer times need a jump-start, these tips should help.
The Bible records many instances of Jesus praying.Sometimes He prayed all night.1 Other times He got up before dawn to prayalone.2 Occasionally He prayed in front of His followers as an example to them.3
He prayed for His disciples and for all of us who would come to know Him throughout the ages.4 He offered prayers of praise and thanksgiving to His Father.5 He also prayed in times of anguish and personal difficulty.6
My friend Michael has a favorite saying for when God does something inexplicable in answer to prayer: It’s not odd, it’s God.
For some months, Michael and a few others of us have been working on a major new endeavor. One of the first things Michael and another partner did was map out the entire project. The plan looked terrific on paper—so simple, so straightforward, so sure. We soon found out, however, that God had a somewhat different plan and timetable. And part of His plan seems to be to teach us to depend more on Him as our all-wise CEO.
“We haven’t done even half of what we had planned for this morning,” I mumbled as I stepped impatiently into the elevator that was to speed my husband Franz and me to an appointment on the 20th floor of a downtown high-rise. A few moments later, the elevator jolted to a halt and we were enveloped in darkness.
“Not again! Not now!” I groaned, glancing at my watch.
For years I nearly always closed my Meditation Moments radio show with the words “God is still on the throne, and prayer changes things!” Someone once wrote in and said, “I don’t find those words in the Bible.”
No, they’re not in the Bible, but they’re certainly scriptural and express an important truth.
My flight to Uganda was booked for less than two weeks away. I sat in my room and counted the money in my wallet.
I was trying to get from Thailand to East Africa to continue my Christian volunteer work there. God had told me He would provide the money, but my present work didn’t bring in the kind of cash I needed for plane fare to the other side of the planet.
Why do some prayers take longer to be answered than others,and why do some seem to go unanswered?
It’s impossible for us to know for sure, and there are probably a number of factors that come into play. One thing we can be sure of is that God always hears our prayers, even though He doesn’t always answer them right away and not always in just the way we expect Him to. Sometimes He says “yes,” sometimes He says “no,” and sometimes He says “wait.”