“Jesus…spent the night praying.” Lk 6:12 NIV
One of the dangers of being involved in God’s work is that you can go for weeks, or even months without praying. In a survey of a thousand pastors, half acknowledged that they often went for long periods without taking time to pray. They didn’t have a personal prayer life beyond their function in church. Amazingly, they had preached entire sermons on the topic, yet they themselves didn’t practice it. Can you relate? Jesus arose before dawn and spent hours in prayer. He even prayed all night—and it showed. His incredible success flowed out of the rich relationship He had with His Father. He made deposits every morning so that He could make withdrawals all day long. One Bible teacher writes: “I have gone from laboring and striving to pray for five minutes every few days to enjoying—and actually personally needing and wanting—beginning my day with prayer, then to praying throughout the day as things come to my heart, and finally ending my day communicating with the Lord as I fall asleep. I have moved from a sporadic, irregular prayer life to regular times of prayer that are disciplined without being legalistic. Where I once thought I was fulfilling an obligation to God by praying, I now realize that I absolutely cannot survive a day and be satisfied…if I do not pray. I realize that prayer is a great privilege, not a duty. I no longer approach God in fear, wondering if He will really hear me and send an answer to my prayers. I now approach Him boldly, as His Word teaches me to do, and with great expectation.”
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