October 10, 2007
Making the Effort
By Rachel Olsen
“Be earnest and unwearied in prayer, being on the alert in it and in your giving of thanks.” Colossians 4:2 (WNT)
I was recently interviewed by a Christian radio station; following the release of our devotional book God’s Purpose for Every Woman. The interview began with a brief discussion of the nature of God’s promises and purposes for women. Next, the topic shifted to the daily discipline of spending time with God, communing with Him through the words of the Bible and prayer. Of course I said how important this was for Christian stability and growth. Then the interviewer challenged, “So bring this home. You are a wife, a mother, a university teacher, a writer, and a traveling national speaker. I’m guessing you are pretty busy. Rachel, how do you find time to have a quiet time?”
There was a day when this question would have struck me deaf and dumb because I didn’t know what the answer was. I knew people who would spend an hour alone with God each day, and I wondered what their secret was. What was it that enabled them to do that? What kept them from falling asleep sitting there alone with the Bible? How did they know what to say, read or think about during all those minutes? How did they keep from getting distracted? How did they even manage to find an hour of free time each day? I kept waiting for a season of my life to come during which a block of time would regularly present itself and my spirit would drive me to God like my sweet tooth drives me to the freezer for chocolate ice cream. I wasted a lot of time idly waiting for that to happen.
“Rachel, how do you find time to have a quiet time?” I don’t find the time,” I answered. “I have to make the time. I can’t expect to find time – that’ll never happen. There’s always going to be something needing my attention, calling my name. I have to make the time, and that means sometimes I have to let other things slide. I have to be OK with letting less important things slide,” I confessed.
I’ve come to realize it’s a matter of choice, a matter of discipline… and a matter of active investment. E.M. Bounds wrote, “The lazy man does not, will not, cannot pray, for prayer demands energy.” That is a simple but profound statement. When I don’t pray it’s because I simply don’t want to expend the energy on it. People who do not pray much probably claim to be too busy or too bored with it, but in reality are too lazy to press into God. Wow. Ouch!
We have to be earnest and unwearied in prayer as today’s verse urges. In the words of a little shoe company called Nike; we have to “just do it.” Let’s carve some time in our days to be quiet before the Lord, to read His words and pray. We can trade a small portion of our time and energy for a large portion of His grace and power.
Purpose to stick to it for several weeks until it sinks into your schedule and your soul. If you want some help being accountable on this, visit my blog listed below. I know we’ll find it is more than worth the effort.
Dear Lord, I want to make the effort and time to interact with You. I want to pray and seek your heart. I don’t want to be too lazy to connect to Your love, wisdom, power and grace. Help me in this, in Jesus’ Name, Amen.
A Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer by Cheri Fuller
Rachel Olsen’s blog
6 Habits of Highly Successful Christians by Brian T. Anderson & Glynnis Whitwer
If you are not in the habit of praying or regularly communing with God, commit to doing so. It doesn’t have to be for an hour - start with 10 minutes. Gather your Bible, some pen and paper and set the timer. For more tips see my blog.
Have you believed you were too busy to have a “quiet time” or pray?
Would you agree that you are too lazy to pray?
Has there been a time in your life when you were committed to regularly spending time alone with God? If so, what was the outcome of that spiritual practice?
Matthew 6:6, “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (NIV)
Mark 6:31, “Jesus said, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” (NIV)
Mark 6:46, “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.” (NIV)
1 Corinthians 14:15, “So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind.” (NIV)
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Wednesday, 10 October 2007.