Weekly Teachings by Erik Momsen
Making room for Prayer
by Erik Momsen
The other week we came to the conclusion that the way to make room for God was to do some pruning. Our time, re-creation, money, relationships, attitude and sin had to be managed or pruned if we were to make space for God.
I now want to show you how prayer is one of the greatest pruning tools. Prayer is especially sharp at pruning our time. We will see how prayerful people can, contrary to popular opinion, be busy people.
We often make the distinction between busy people and those who pray. We think of prayer as a sedatory activity and think of busy people not having the time to pray. Busy people who don't have the mind to pray will often be ineffective people. People who pray and are not active will often be irrelevant people. Prayer is a vital and busy work.
BUSY PEOPLE MUST BE PRAYING PEOPLE
It would be hard to find a busier person that Jesus. Yet despite this we see that His earthly life was directed by prayer. He would make time to get away for a few hours and consult the Father. He only did what He saw the Father doing. Greats like the Wesleys have noted that the busier they got, the more they were in need of prayer.
"Be very careful , then, how you live - not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is." (Ephesians 5:15-17)
Wisdom is needed in an evil world. Wisdom is from God and only with this wisdom will we prosper. We are told to make the most of every opportunity - be productive. The way to seize the moment is through focus on God and knowing His will. Ephesians 5:18-21 tells us what that will is:
- Be filled with the Spirt.
- Speak = psalms hymns and spiritual songs.
- Sing and make music in your heart.
- Always give thanks.
- Submit to one another. (v. 18-21)
BUSY PEOPLE CAN BE PRAYING PEOPLE
It is possible to be very busy yet have the time to be focused on God.
Another busy yet prayerful person was Brother Lawrence. Born in about 1611, he was called to a Carmelite monastry in Paris. He was placed in the kitchen, probably the busiest place in a monastry. With the day starting at 2:15 am and breakfast after this, it was a tough life. Lawrence writes;
"The time of busyness does not differ with me from the time of prayer: and in the noise and clatter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquillity as if I were on my knees."
There was no distinction between prayer time and work time for Brother Lawrence. He was able to follows Paul's directive to pray without ceasing (Ephesians 6:18). He finds constant prayer possible through what he calls "the practice of the presence of God". He writes:
"Were I a preacher, I should above all other things preach the practice of the presence of God. And were I a Spiritual Director, I would advise all the world to it - so necessary do I think it to be and so easy too ... I cannot imagine how religious persons can live satisfied without the practice of the presence of God."
"Practicing the presence of God" meant the following to Lawrence:
- 'A directing of our spirit to God.'
- 'A remembrance of God ... though the imagination or the mind.'
- 'An alertness toward God.'
- "A wordless conversation with him, confidence in Him.'
- Paying God 'simple attention.'
- Recognising we have a prayer place in our hearts.
PRAYING PEOPLE MUST BE BUSY PEOPLE
If we are praying people we cannot but be doing people. If prayer is touching the heart of God - glimpsing His face - we will see His will and do it. Our greatest prayer has as its second request; "let it come, the Kingdom of you, - let it come, the will of you, as in heaven also on earth". We pray for change and become part of the solution.
Date Added: 2009-05-05
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