The Priority of Prayer

“It is not a matter of time so much as a matter of heart; if you have the heart to pray, you will find the time.” (Charles Spurgeon)

As I got home from work one evening I realized I had not prayed much that day. I simply hadn’t made it a priority to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Other things were at the forefront of my mind and talking to God was pushed to the back burner.

Sometimes it’s neglect; other times I simply don’t have the focus. Either way, it’s not made a priority. It’s not that we don’t have time, but that we don’t have the heart.

Prayer should be as second nature as breathing. When we’re faithfully following the Lord, the command to “pray without ceasing” should be at the forefront of our minds, not the back.

We need to make prayer a priority.

You Have Time

Each morning I wake up at 5:30 a.m. I do this in order to get my mind right for the day. The first thing I do after I make my obligatory coffee is pray. And what I pray for varies—it’s simply what is on my mind. But I pray. Then I read.

I don’t get up that early because I’m a morning person. It’s not that natural for me to be up that early even having done so for more than a year. I enjoy the peace and quiet but I’m still groggy for a while.

But I need time to devote myself to the Lord in prayer and reading.

Friend, let me encourage you. I promise you have time. If prayer is a priority—or you want it to be a priority—you will make time. You have time, it simply depends on when you want to do it. Pray in the wee hours of the morning; be a night owl and pray at night. Whatever you do, just make time to pray, because saying “I don’t have time” doesn’t suffice. We do have time.

You Have the Focus

A normal NBA game is around 2 and a half hours. An NFL game is more than that. Baseball is even longer. And yet we can’t keep our focus long enough to pray.

Please know my heart: we’re all guilty of this. I’m not pointing fingers, but asking for all of us to consider this. If we can focus our attention on sports (or other things that entertain us) then why do our minds drift off after two minutes of praying?

It’s pretty simple. If we desire to pray—to commune with our triune God!—then we will push through any distractions, any interruptions, any obstructions. It will mean enough to us that we devote our heart and mind to communing with the Lord.

It’s a cop-out to say we simply don’t have the attention spans. We do. We may struggle with this every now and then, but we cannot—indeed, should not—neglect to pray because we think we can’t focus long enough. We can.

Do You Have the Heart?

Believer, do you have the heart to pray? And not just a half-hearted, quick prayer but a serious, steadfast, prayer with eagerness? We must remember one crucial component of prayer: we are talking to not only the God of the universe, but our Heavenly Father who has adopted us into his family. He wants to hear from us. We should want to talk to Him.

With this in mind, it should be easy for us to go to Him. Go to Him in the morning before work, during your lunch break, in the evening before bed. Go to Him all the time. Let prayer be as natural as thinking.

Do you enjoy my writing? You may like my new book Gospel Smugness: Displaying Christlike Character in Evangelism.

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