If there was one thing we'll all do this week (besides open presents, eat lots of food and spend time with family), it will be to…
The not-so-genius tip from last week was: having a great quiet time starts by just having a quiet time (you can read part 1 here). This will prove true if God’s word is as good as it says it is. And the Bible certainly doesn’t shy away from declaring it’s greatness! Psalm 19 tells us: God’s word revives our soul, enlightens our eyes, rejoices our heart, it is sweeter than honey from a honeycomb, and it is to be desired more than fine gold (Psalm 19:7-11)! So if we can simply open our Bibles, we will soon experience the sweetness contained within, and we will never want a day to pass without it.
But Don’t Stop There
Our daily time with God should not merely consist of God talking to us through his written word; he also wants us to talk to him. Which is a super crazy thought! The God of the universe, the Creator of all things, wants us to talk to him!
It is not that God needs a friend; God doesn’t lack anything our prayers provide. He wants us to pray because it’s good for us. Prayer allows us to be a part of the good things he is doing. Thus you can see how the goal of merely being faithful will once again prove fruitful– If prayer is good for us, and we simply commit to praying every day, we will soon see the benefit, and we will want more! So once again, the secret to great quiet times (and specifically prayer) is just to spend time doing it every day.
The Profit of Prayer
How exactly is prayer good for us you ask? Well, the benefits are probably endless. But here are 3 that make it well worth your time.
1. Being near to God is good.
Deuteronomy 4:7 says, “For what great nation is there that has a god so near to it as the Lord our God is to us, whenever we call upon him?” Though we are not the “great nation” of Israel, as Christians, we are God’s people. We have this same privilege Deuteronomy 4 speaks of.
In fact, there is a similar concept directed to us New Testament Christians. Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”
Think about these truths. GOD allows us to draw near to him. GOD offers help in our time of need.
Prayer is not a privilege worth shirking off for another day. We should capitalize on our opportunities to talk to God today.
2. Prayer aligns our heart with God’s.
Prayer has a way of making us realize God knows better than we do.
1 John 5:14–15 says, “And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him.” While there are a lot of concepts in this passage, note this phrase: “we have the requests we have asked of him.” At first glance, this is hard to believe. But when we pray, we are relinquishing our will, and wanting God’s will. Thus, God DOES answer exactly as we want – according to his will! (of course, that doesn’t mean he gives you what you said you wanted on one level, but he gives you what you want on the deepest level – you want what God says is best).
Notice also what this passage implies about what we want. The foundational desire of a Christian is to want God’s will above our own. Prayer is what reminds us to think along these lines. This should make us want to pray more so we can remind ourselves more that God’s will is what we want the most.
3. Prayer works!
If God asks you to pray, he is not tricking you into talking to him just to ignore your requests. Matthew 7:7-11 reminds us that God is like a loving father who desires to “give good things to those who ask him” (Matthew 7:11). God wants to answer your prayers.
Furthermore, God wants to answer in a favorable way. When our requests line up with God’s plans, it’s his delight to say, “yes.” The times he seems to say “no” (or “not right now”), it’s not because he enjoys denying our requests – rather it’s because it’s what’s best in the grand scheme of things. Either way, as we see God’s will come about through our prayers, we realize prayer works, and that’s when momentum develops.
Like the cyclical logic in “If You Give a Mouse A Cookie” — the more you spend time talking to God, the more you will see him answer…and the more you see him answer, the more you will want to talk to God!
Always Worth It!
This is a mere glimpse of the benefit of prayer. But, suffice it to say, if you choose to spend time praying every day…like really praying — long enough to converse about the things on your heart, long enough to communicate requests that you desire to see answered – you will realize prayer is worth every minute.
Once again, the secret to a great quiet time is simply being sure to have a quiet time.
Don’t get discouraged when it doesn’t feel magical. Don’t quit because you are not moved by emotion. Just be faithful. Soon enough a momentum will build, and you will experience the benefits of time with God, and you will never want to miss a day again.