In seasons of distress and grief
My soul has often found relief
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer
Have you ever prayed for an hour or more? I hate to admit that it has been a while since I have done so. It seems there are often distractions or things that come up, which hinder me, but I desire to get back to a time of not being rushed. And honestly I can do so.
If you study the lives of preachers of old who changed the world (or at least their sphere of it), you will find they had one thing in common: a life devoted to prayer and the Word. They were not perfect men but they were willing, and God chose to use them. Some of them not only prayed one hour but three or four or more. Today, prayer is often no more than a ritual–something we do before meals and maybe before bed. This, however, is not real relationship with Christ.
If you are married, your spouse no doubt expects you to talk to him or her. If you travel a lot, she may expect you to call home every day so she can hear your voice and know how you are doing. If you’re together all the time (or at least every evening), he would probably not handle it well if you were too busy to talk to him for at least a period of time.
So it is with God. He desires us to talk and to listen to Him as we rise up, as we walk by the way. He wants us to tell Him our joys and our sorrows. Yes, He knows everything but He desires communication just the same. He loves it when we let Him know how grateful we are for Him. I have learned this increasingly the last few years. Just as I would not like to be ignored by my spouse (if I had one), God does not like to be ignored by us. Yet way too often, He is.
You do not need to be a great person to do great things for God, but you do need to develop a close relationship with Him. It’s very possible. You need only draw near to Him, and He will draw near to you.