The beautiful hymn “What A friend We Have In Jesus” contains these poignant lines:
Oh what peace we often forfeit O what needless pain we bear
All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer
In so many ways I live my life as a practical atheist. This is manifest in how much of my life is entered into, and engaged in, without any presenting of the pressing matters of life before the Lord in prayer. And the consequences, as the hymn suggests are dire. Peace forfeited and pain accrued; all because I have ventured further into life without the fellowship of my beautiful Saviour and kind Father.
So what are you to do Philip?
- I need to commence every day with due time taken to present all to the Lord in prayer.
- I need to be relentlessly stopping during the day to pray about the day and what is ahead.
- I must stop whenever a new event comes into the day. A telephone call, a meeting with someone, a sending of an email. a reading of an article should all provoke me to prayer.
Finally, I wish to give a godly example of a man who had this tendency to commit all to the Lord in prayer. His name is Nehemiah. In Nehemiah 1:5-11 we see how, in response to bad news from Jerusalem, he gives Himself to prayer. Then, in chapter 2 we see how he responded to an inquiry by King Artaxerxes, his boss:
The king said to me, ‘What is it you want?’
Then I prayed to the God of heaven, and I answered the king, ‘If it pleases the king and if your servant has found favour in his sight, let him send me to the city in Judah where my ancestors are buried so that I can rebuild it’ (Neh. 2:5-6).
May we be Nehemiah-like in our response to the issues of life.