“If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer.”
“Prayer is climbing up into the heart of God.”
Christmas time is upon us already if you haven’t noticed. I’m BUSY! Are you busy? I made the mistake the other day of going to the Columns in Jackson, TN on a Saturday. The Columns is a fairly large shopping center, in the middle of Jackson, with horrible road construction where parking is an absolute nightmare! And yours truly decides to brave it on a Saturday before Christmas! I believe the Lord has a sense of humor and having me be in just such situations are some of His greatest teaching moments, particularly on the subjects of impatience and irritability. I like to get where I’m going…I have things to do!
I grew up in the North in a place where fast pace was the name of the game. You would never see anyone dawdling EVER. And if someone just so happened to be dawdling in front of you…well let me tell you, they heard about it in quick order! I laugh often when I’m out and about and people are busy but they don’t seem to be in a very big hurry to get anywhere. My thoughts always go to my older brother who still lives in the north. He’s an incredibly hard worker and has two full time successful businesses that he started from the ground up. On a daily basis, he has more creativity and business savvy flying around in that noggin of his than I’d care to even wager a guess. He’s always on the go…always. And spends incredible amounts of time with his wonderful wife and my 4 nieces and nephews as super dad! I tell you all of that to say this, “He would most likely run somebody down with his truck if he spent much time here!” I can just hear him now! It’s quite possible that in very short order he would have to have his sanity checked before operating a motor vehicle for any length of time here in the south. Time is money for him.
Now, please don’t misunderstand me. I of course love my brother, and I thoroughly enjoy Jackson, TN where the Lord has placed my wife and me. These cultural differences are what keep us unique here in the states. So, why discuss this here? After all, this is supposed to be an entry on prayer is it not?
My point is this: I think Luther is calling us to slow down long enough to take out the distractions of life, and enjoy solitude with God. I don’t think spending three hours in prayer at the start of every morning is the magic number. Nor do I think that if you fail to have concerted time in your closet on your knees first thing in the morning, that the Devil’s gonna getcha! I do, however, think Luther understood the need of quieting his spirit through all the chaos and busyness of life, making time for what was truly important. There is no substitute for the joy, confession, thanksgiving, intercession and intimacy we can experience when we quiet ourselves and “climb up into the heart of God.”
So, take some of the stress out of this amazing season and find time to be alone in prayer with God. Christmas is a beautiful reminder of what Christ gave up to come in human form, to suffer and die…for YOU! It was just such action that allows us to have this incredible and intimate relationship with God in the first place. Spend some needed time being still, enjoying His amazing presence as you humbly come to Him. Peace be still!
Clayton J. Elliott
Pastoral Ministries and Prayer, Kontaktmission USA clay@GoKMUSA.org (731) 217-1741
Please join us in prayer for the KM missionary team working in Hódmezővásárhely, Hungary. “We are planning an outreach in the pedestrian zone of our city. It requires spending a lot of time at a booth in freezing temperatures. Pray that we will have enough volunteers and I won’t have to do it alone. Our congregation is small and the men have to work all day. Pray that many people will respond to the gospel message.”