We just finished out National Day of Prayer breakfast. We had close to 200 people from Christ’s Church who came out for this early morning event.
Naturally, I’ve been thinking a lot about prayer.
Do you remember learning how to ride a bike? I remembered that it seemed like such a scary thing at the time. I could see people riding, smiling, and having fun, but, until I learned how to ride for myself, I didn’t fully understand what I was missing.
If you’re not praying, you don’t know what you’re missing.
Humor me . . . let me compare a healthy prayer-life to riding a bike.
1. START (PRAYING)
A life of bike-riding begins with one push of a peddle. A life of prayer begins with one word. Just start praying. Don’t focus on being fancy, sounding smart, looking cool, or being anything other than honest with God.
2. STICK TO IT
Keep riding. Too many bike-riders exchanged their bike locks for car keys and haven’t ridden a bike in years. You may even think you’ve forgotten how to ride. You haven’t. You never forget how to ride a bike.
Too many Christians seem to have parked their prayer life in the garage and moved on to something “better.” They prayed a lot as a young person, but they seem to have forgotten how to pray. They haven’t. You haven’t. You never forget how to pray.
You just have to start praying again and stick to it.
Hannah did this. I Samuel 1:12-20
Abraham did this. Gen. 18:16-33
The Early Church did this. Acts 2:42
The Apostle Paul did this. I Thess. 1: 1-3; 5:17
Early African converts to Christianity were earnest and regular in private devotions. Each one reportedly had a separate spot in the thicket where he would pour out his heart to God. Over time the paths to these places became well worn. As a result, if one of these believers began to neglect prayer, it was soon apparent to the others. They would kindly remind the negligent one, “Brother, the grass grows on your path.”
Don’t let grass grow on your path.
In The Practice of The Presence of God—and of his own prayer life—Brother Lawrence writes: “My soul has a habitual, silent, secret conversation with God.”
Keep the habitual conversation going.
3. STAND BACK—SOMETHING AMAZING IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
Before my brother and I would display a trick on one of our matching Yellow Schwinn Scramblers for a crowd of friends, we’d say, “Stand Back” because something unexpected—and hopefully not requiring Mom to rush us to the hospital—was about to happen.
I believe it would be appropriate to follow every “Amen” at the end of every prayer with this warning to any and all observers, “You might want to stand back, because something big is about to happen.”
God may choose to amaze us with an immediate answer.
God may choose to amaze us with His marvelous strength.
God may choose to amaze us with the strength to survive another day without an immediate answer.
I hope you’ll pray today—and everyday—and that you’ll always enjoy the ride.