I get it. We all lead busy lives. From work, to kids, to community organizations, all the way down to our social media browsing, every minute of our days are bombarded with some activity. Unfortunately, we can get so entwined in life's events that sometimes we forget to take that very important moment to commune with God, the creator of time, Himself. I'll be the first to admit that I can oftentimes get caught up with fulfilling the vision that I rob the visionary of His time. I can sit for countless hours tweaking a code or creating a graphic intended to draw others to Him, yet in that very same day, I've neglected to draw close myself. I've failed to partake of my daily bread and barely acknowledge Him with a very short prayer. It's those days that I look back on and thank God for his immeasurable grace and for still loving me in spite of me. Imagine if God protected us based on our level of conversation with Him? We all would have been dead a long time ago.
We know better. We know that the one of the enemy's weapons is busyness. We know that we ought to be intentional about our time with God. We know that we should give God our first and best, yet often resort to our last and tired, drained, battered self.
About a month ago, my colleague and I were discussing his childhood, including him living in Middle East. Of the many cultural nuances that he enlightened me on, one that stuck out the most was their excitement about prayer time. Though not Muslim himself, he shared that Muslims, regardless of their location, all prayed on Friday at noon. After later researching, I found that this is their congregational, or corporate, prayer time. He recalled the lack of productivity (and school work) on those days, as participants began shouting and becoming excited about prayer time hours before. Eventually, during his time in the Middle East, the work and school week schedule was adjusted such that it began on Sunday and Friday became an off day.
I imagined what those hours leading up to prayer time is like. Then I thought about the many times I reluctantly rolled out of bed and have essentially told God that I would rather be sleeping instead of waking up and giving thanks. What a reality check! Admittedly, I was ashamed to know that Muslims were excited and cheering about prayer time, when I have unlimited access to the true and sovereign God and often fail to make time for Him. There is obviously something very wrong with that picture! After having this in my subconscious for some time, God laid it on my heart to revive my prayer life. So began 30 days of prayer.
These 30 days of prayer aren't just to pray out of habit, but to completely revamp my attitude toward prayer. At the conclusion of 30 days, it should not only be a habit to pray and journal, but I should come out with an excitement to commune with God that is unmatched. Are you excited to talk to Abba, Father? David gives us instruction on how we ought to approach God in Psalm 100.
Psalm 100 (NASB)
1Shout joyfully to the LORD, all the earth.
2Serve the LORD with gladness;
Come before Him with joyful singing.
3Know that the LORD Himself is God;
It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves;
We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.
4Enter His gates with thanksgiving
And His courts with praise.
Give thanks to Him, bless His name.
5For the LORD is good;
His lovingkindness is everlasting
And His faithfulness to all generations.
This week, as you enter into your intentional prayer time, go in with shouts of praise. Let God know that you're excited to speak with Him and reunite with him from the night's sleep. Here's your assignment:
During this week, recite Psalm 100 as a personal declaration.
"I will shout joyfully to the Lord, in all the earth. I will serve the Lord with gladness; I will come before Him with joyful singing; I know that the lord Himself is God; It is He who has made me, and not I myself; I am His people and a sheep of His pasture. I will enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise. I will give thanks to Him and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His lovingkindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations."