September 11, 2008
A Dime in my Pocket
”Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I call to you all day long.”
Psalm 86:3 (NIV)
Do you remember pay phones? My kids are just sure I’m ready for the senior citizen’s discount when they hear me speak of them. But maybe you’re one of my fellow ‘old folks’ and know exactly what I’m talking about. They hung on the walls at restaurants and airports; in shopping malls and at gas stations. When you needed to get a message to someone back home that the ball game was over or the outing was finished, you dug for the dime your mother (being the proper parent she was) always made sure resided in your jean’s pocket. Then you reached for the receiver, slipped your other hand up to the slot, dropped the silver coin in and dialed. Soon help, or a ride, was on the way.
I used my dimes sparingly in the olden days—you know, the 1980’s—reserving them only for completely necessary calls and occasional emergencies. In the course of a month, I resorted to my waiting dime only a time or two. If it was to be used, I wanted to make sure it was really worth it. If not, then it stayed conveniently tucked away in my front pocket, waiting for the day it would be called upon to come and rescue me.
Contrast this with today’s cell phones and some teenagers. Oh dear, at times it appears those electronic contraptions are glued to their ears!!! These kids don’t make a call once or twice a month, but once or twice a minute in some severe cases! They feel free to dial at any time, call at their convenience, and to use their ‘phone a friend’ lifeline at the drop of a hat. Now, least you think this is going to be a devotion that scolds these talkative teens, let me make my point clear. I actually think they are on to something!
Think with me in terms of our relationship with God. I’m afraid that often I am much more like a teen in the 80’s when it comes to calling upon the Lord. I reserve my spiritual dimes for the times I really need Him, making sure it is worth the effort of prayer. (And earnest prayer is sometimes effort, you know!) When I fear I will be spiritually stranded without a ride, feel a bit scared and need someone to rush to my side, or any other such divine emergency, I call upon the Lord. Other times, sadly, I must admit my spiritual cell phone sometimes stays shut.
Instead, my prayer life should emulate the actions of the chatty teens of our current culture. I should feel free to call, text and mobile-to-mobile my Lord about any and everything and, as a result, stay constantly connected to Him throughout the course of my day. I should realize that His line is never busy, His ear never tires and He longs to connect with me more than an occasional time or two a week. I too can call (pray), text (journal), save a message (memorize Scripture) or return a message (praise Him) no matter the time or place! Oh, if only God’s presence in my everyday life became as precious and desired as a teen’s cell phone use addiction!
How about it, fellow phoner? Perhaps this week when we spy a cell phone, let it trigger our memory of today’s key verse. Call upon the Lord. All day long. He will answer every time. No roaming charges, no busy signals and best of all, no dropped calls!
Dear Lord, please forgive me for resorting to prayer only when I need You for something. I resolve now to keep connected with You all through my day. I’ll call upon You in times of need as well as when I just want to thank You or spend time with You. You are my only lifeline. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
For more thoughts on prayer, visit Karen Ehman’s blog
The Busy Woman’s Guide to Prayer, by Cheri Fuller
What other visual reminders can you use to help you build prayer into your day?
What does “praying without ceasing” look like? Why don’t we do this more often?
When do you find yourself most often calling upon the Lord? In good times to praise Him or in bad times to beg Him?
Psalm 17:6, “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.” (NIV)
Jeremiah 33:3, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (NIV)
I Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice evermore. Pray without ceasing. In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” (KJV)
© 2008 by Karen Ehman. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
Matthews, NC 28105
Originally published Thursday, 11 September 2008.