“I had an experience the other day with one of my neighbors,” Stan commented, “that, hopefully, will have an impact on him.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“As you know,” Stan replied, “I get up early each morning to spend time with God.”
“Yeah,” I said, “your time of journaling prayers, devotions, what God shows you in the Bible, and that sort of thing.”
“Exactly,” Stan said. “For me it’s an essential part of my day.”
“And what about your neighbor?” I asked.
“Well,” Stan replied, “the other afternoon I was out in the front yard trimming some roses. My neighbor came over and said he often sees the light on in my den early in the morning. He wondered what I’m doing in there while it’s still dark.”
“What did you say to him?”
“I told him that I’m following Jesus’ example,” Stan replied. “He then wanted to know what that meant, and I was able to share with him some things that, hopefully, will make a difference.”
“What kind of things?”
“About how Jesus would get up in the early morning while it was still dark and go spend time by Himself with His Father.”
“Why did He do that?” I asked.
“To find out what was on His Father’s mind about what He had for Jesus to be and to do,” Stan said. “And, it seems to me, that it’s to be the same for me. If I don’t take the time to be alone with God, how am I going to find out what’s on His mind? How am I going to get to know Him?”
“Get to know Him,” I repeated. “That’s kind of like how Jesus described ‘eternal life’ isn’t it?”
“More than ‘kind of like,’ my friend,” Stan replied. “Seems to me that once we have the assurance of spending eternity in God’s presence when our time here is finished, the ‘getting to know God’ part of eternal life is what we are to pursue for as long as God chooses to leave us here.”
“And,” he concluded, “that’s what I told my neighbor when he asked, ‘What are you doing in there?’”
Bible verses to consider:
And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there. Mark 1:35.
And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23.
And it was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12.
Prayer: Thank you, Father, that you allow me to come before you in prayer, and that you want me to spend time with you in a quiet place so I can hear your voice of what you have for me to be and to do. I confess that too often I do not come before you in the quiet place you have for me. Please forgive that foolish approach to being able to hear what is on your heart and mind, what you have for me. Please help me in following every step of your lead so I choose to spend time knowing you and your Son in an ever-deepening personal relationship. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in His name. Amen.
Think on this: Jesus not only taught His disciples how to pray, he showed them where to pray, in a quiet place. Do you agree with that? Why or why not? Do you purposefully spend time quietly with God in prayer listening to what He has for you to be and to do? If no, why? If you sense changes may be needed in how and where you spend time with God, how are those changes going to occur? If you do spend such time with God, how would you explain to another person what that means to you?