I recently went to a local outdoor park with some men and had a half day of prayer on a Saturday morning. We met at 7:30, had coffee and bagels, enjoyed some fellowship and received the instructions for our morning. We used a prayer guide called “Making Time for Prayer” which can be purchased at MIMbooks.com.
Before going into the time, I had rehearsed the issues, “the what” that I was going to bring up before God. Relationships, my to-do list and schedule, health, finances and other complaints—the normal typical issues most of us carry around. I know I needed this time as it had been awhile since I spent three-plus uninterrupted hours with Him. I related to David in Psalm 25:27, “The troubles of my heart are enlarged.”
Interesting, I found my issues were grown large by my lack of perspective. I didn’t realize this until well into the time—that I had a perspective problem. My view of the issues were enlarged because it had been too long since I took extended time with Jesus. I also didn’t realize how much I needed this extended time with Him until afterward.
Most of the time was quiet/listening time and waiting on God. The prayer guide did the work of maneuvering me through my issues, the appropriate scriptures and doing my business with Him.
And this is what I discovered: I was missing the target. The target was not the “whats” that I was wanting to be solved but the “Who” that needed to be addressed.
Jeremiah writes: “If you return, then I will restore you—before Me you will stand; and if you extract the precious from the worthless…” (Jeremiah 15:19). Perspective is gained by pursuing the “Who–Jesus” not my circumstances –which was my need.
The result of the time was a renewed perspective on not only the issues, but my relationship with Him. It was an encouragement! And I left with contentment, peace and a renewed joy–those things which are only obtainable through a time of renewal and pursuit of Him in prayer.
At the end of the time we all came together to share our experiences. All had individual similar outcomes and knew that we needed to do it again—sooner than later. We wondered why we had not done it sooner?
“Prayer is an interruption of personal ambition, and no person who is busy has time to pray. What will suffer is the life of God in him, which is nourished not by food but by prayer. If we look on prayer as a means of developing ourselves, there is nothing in it at all, and we do not find that idea in the Bible. Prayer is other than meditation; it develops the life of God in us. When a man is born from above, the life of the Son of God begins in him, and he can either starve that life or nourish it.” –Oswald Chambers.
We finished up by noon but before parting, renewed some fellowship with some like-minded brothers. None of us wanted to leave. It was a sweet time both with Jesus and the men. I am going to do it again, soon.