January 3 I Friday
“May my prayer be set before You like incense; may
the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.” —Psalm 141:2
When asked what is one of the key ingredients to any relationship, we will find that the answer is always communication. Every time human relationships fall apart, it is almost always because of a breakdown in communication. When marriages run into trouble, the number one reason for marriage breakdown is poor communication. When we stop talking, we also stop listening; in fact, when we stop listening, it is probably more crucial than stopping talking. Even friendships dry up because we stop spending time together.
I have had some people come to me with this concern many times saying, “I am a Christian. I believe in God and I love Jesus Christ. But what I can’t seem to understand is why my Christian life feels so dry. God seems distant to me.” I would then follow-up with a question asking, “How much time do you spend alone with God?” And the response I almost always receive is, “That’s my weak spot.” Of course God is distant if they do not spend time listening and talking to Him. Prayer brings us into relationship with God, that is, it brings us into communication. Hence, when the Christian life becomes dull, when God becomes distant, when our Christian experiences become dry, we can be very sure that there is very little prayer going on.
When we pray, we are journeying into the heart of God. In Bill Hybels’s book Too Busy Not to Pray, he explains how for twenty-odd years he had not taken time to pray with any discipline or regularity. Yet, when he began to restructure his life so there was time to pray, he recounts, “…my prayer life has been transformed. The greatest fulfillment has not been the list of miraculous answers to prayers I have received, although that has been wonderful. The greatest thrill has been the qualitative difference in my relationship with God. And when I started to pray, I didn’t know that was going to happen.” For Hybels, his motive to pray was that there are a lot of things he needed to bring God into, such as his life, church and nation. But the greatest thing he discovered is that suddenly, he began to love and enjoy God in a new way.
For us, prayer is like the oxygen of the soul—when we deny ourselves of the oxygen we need, we will begin to starve. If we are experiencing dryness in our relationship with God, will we make a commitment to spend time daily in prayer? Believe me, the greatest change we will find in our life from praying is the quality of our relationship with God.
Prayer: Almighty God, thank You that my relationship with You is where I find the deepest needs of my heart being fulfilled. Help me commit to spending time daily with You in prayer.