“But I will call on God, and the Lord will rescue me. Morning, noon, and night I cry out in my distress, and the Lord hears my voice. He ransoms me and keeps me safe from the battle waged against me, though many still oppose me. God, who has ruled forever, will hear me and humble them.” Psalm 55: 17-19 (New Living Translation).
“O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out to you by day. I come to you at night. Now hear my prayer; listen to my cry.” Psalm 88:1-2 (New Living Translation).
Two men, King David, and Heman, the Ezrahite, wrote these two portions of scripture to show that they made prayer a priority in their lives. They made the time, in the middle of their distressing circumstances, to meet with God and to let Him know that they need help.
Whenever bad times hit our lives, we are tempted to get so engaged with problem-solving and putting out fires that we forget to invite God into our situations. Urgent things demand our immediate attention and we go into crisis mode, which exposes us to the risk of making ill-advised decisions. We especially need divine intervention in the midst of our crises.
We should establish the discipline of meeting with the Lord early in the morning, and be checking in during the day and talking with Him at the end of the day. This discipline should be well entrenched in the easy seasons of our lives. Otherwise, we will soon find ourselves disconnected from the most Helpful Person in the Universe, our Heavenly Father when the bad times hit.
Talking to God must become a priority, and it is my experience that unless we schedule our priorities, they will be supplanted by other urgent, but less important things.
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6 (New Living Translation).
If you don’t schedule a regular prayer time (your“when”), you cannot expect to have the consistent rewards of answered prayers. I have three boys, and I drive them to school early in the morning. I always pray for us as we drive out of our driveway. I pray before every meal with my family and every evening I walk into my children’s rooms to pray with them individually in order to thank God for the day and to ask Him for His protection during the night. I prioritize and schedule the “when” in order that it may become normalized in our family lifestyle.
At our church, there is a scheduled prayer meeting every single day of the week in the morning, with the exemption of one day, when our church staff rests and prays at home. Prayer should be a priority, and it only becomes a lifestyle when we schedule times of prayer at the intersections of our days.
- Have you made talking to God a priority in your life?
- Do you have scheduled times of prayer?
- How can you schedule times of prayer going forward?
Excerpted from Go Vertical Iann Schonken: