It has always been difficult for me to spend great lengths of time in prayer, and sometimes it’s been a cause of discouragement. On the other hand, God has graciously taught me about prayer and dependence on Him throughout the day. I often get on my knees for brief periods in my office. I pray as I hear of needs. Nanci and I stop and pray together various times throughout the day. I ask God to help me see prayer as an adventure in which I come into His presence and behold Him, and become so absorbed with Him that I don’t want to do anything else. I’ve had tastes of that, but long for more.
I believe that the more conscious my dependence on Christ, the more I will pray without ceasing and obey Scripture’s command to “pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests” (Ephesians 6:18).
Preaching on 1 Thessalonians 5:17, “Pray without ceasing,” Charles Spurgeon said:
Our Lord Jesus Christ in these words assures you that you may pray without ceasing. There is no time when we may not pray. You have here permission given to come to the mercy-seat when you will, for the veil of the Most Holy place is rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and our access to the mercy-seat is undisputed and indisputable.
…The dead of night is not too late for God; the breaking of the morning, when the first grey light is seen, is not too early for the Most High; at midday he is not too busy; and when the evening gathers he is not weary with his children's prayers. "Pray without ceasing," is, if I read it aright, a most sweet and precious permit to the believer to pour out his heart at all times before the Lord.
We’re told in Hebrews 10:19 that “We have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus.” Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace.”
These verses tell us something wonderful beyond comprehension: the blood of Jesus has bought us full access to God’s throne room and his Most Holy Place. Even now, He welcomes us to come there in prayer. In eternity, when we’re resurrected beings, not only will He permit us to enter His presence in prayer, but He will welcome us to live in His presence as resurrected beings.
I often think about how wonderful it will be on the New Earth, as resurrected beings, to see God’s face, to consciously delight in everything around me as a direct extension of God’s magnificence. I will never have to guard my eyes, restrain my thoughts, question my motives, or wonder what else I need to confess. In short, I’ll be free of my sin-tainted self, and fully free to be the Christ-empowered righteous self that God designed me to be, in continual conscious recognition of Him. This is at the heart of prayer, I think, and I ask God to help me taste that now not only in the short sessions throughout the day, but also in longer prayer times as well.
Occasionally EPM sends out specific prayer requests related to my writing and speaking ministry. Nanci and I deeply appreciate those who pray for us and for EPM, and often I am profoundly aware of the difference prayer makes in my life and writing and speaking. If you would like to join our prayer team, you can sign up here. If you feel led to do that, we will thank God and you for participating in our lives and ministry.
“No man can do me a truer kindness in this world than to pray for me.” —Charles Spurgeon