Prayer: Part 2
You likewise, as a Spirit-filled disciple of Christ, must enroll in, and attend daily, the Spirit’s school of prayer. This school, though challenging in every respect, is free from every kind of drudgery, and full of enjoyment from the very first moment! Your instructor is the Holy Spirit, your text book is the Holy Bible, your example is Jesus the Son of God, your single aim is the Father’s good pleasure. You’ll be learning for life and helping others as you go along. I will offer you a number of principles, tips and practical suggestions that the Spirit has shown me over the years. But it is essential for you to realize that the Father wants to relate individually to your spirit. He wants you to be led by the Spirit on your unique journey as you experience the joy of discovery and intimacy with your Father. There is nothing mechanical or even repeatable about a vital relationship with God through prayer. Like Isaac, you must dig your own well (see Genesis 26:18). You will not succeed by trying to follow someone else’s set of step by step instructions, but only by being led by the Spirit of God. For the letter killeth, but the Spirit giveth life! (2Cor 3:6).
So where does one begin? It all begins with an appointment: a time and a place. While we are certainly free and encouraged to pray at any time, there is something vitally important about an appointed time. If you think of your daily time of prayer as an “appointment” with the God of the Universe, it will help you not to be late or to be a “no-show”. Imagine if the President of the United States wanted to meet personally with you each day to hear about issues that matter to you and to give you advice and instructions and resources to fulfill his objectives in service to your country… I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t miss a single meeting! In truth, the actual opportunity that we as believers have is much greater than this hypothetical one. Read Exodus 33:7-11 for an example of how this worked in Moses’ life. Your opportunity is even BETTER than that of Moses (see Hebrews 8:6 & 11:40)!
What time of day is best for your appointment with the Father? As for Jesus, he favored the early hours of the morning, even before the dawn, to meet with his Father. Mark 1:35 “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed." You need to find a time of day where no one else is going to interrupt. The early morning has always worked best for me. One of the principles of scripture is that God always wants our FIRST and our BEST. If we’re faithful to offer him our first and our best, he’ll be sure to bless the rest!
Where is the best spot for you to be alone each day with the Father? Jesus said, “when you pray, go into your room and shut the door…” Matt 6:6 . Find a place that is shut off from the world’s distractions. Find a place where you can lift your voice up to God. Psalm 5:3 “My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O LORD; in the morning I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.” When I first began my prayer journey in earnest, I would use the time during my commute where my car became my rolling prayer sanctuary. From there I switched to early morning prayer walks through the neighborhood. For the last several years my den at home has become my prayer closet. The Lord will guide you as you determine in your heart to seek him earnestly!