Following Jesus: Prayer

19And He said to them, ‘Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men’” ~ Matthew 4:19

Could it mean to follow Jesus is to do what Jesus did? And the two things that Jesus did the most were: pray and evangelize. Notice what Jesus said, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” When we follow someone, we essentially walk in their footsteps. Today we will take a closer look at prayer. Why we Christians find every excuse not to pray is beyond me. We let secular thoughts invade our prayer time, we let to-do-lists cut our time with God short, and the list goes on and on.

So what exactly is prayer? In a nutshell, it’s a two-way communication with God. It’s the time we spend with Him to pour out our hurts, our needs, our anxieties, our dreams, and our hopes. It is the time when we seek out direction for our lives. David, the man of God, had his whole family (his wives, his children, and all his possessions) stolen by the enemy. Our first instinct is to go after them. David’s first instinct, after weeping and mourning his loss, was to ask God for direction. “And David inquired of the LORD, ‘Shall I pursue after this band? Shall I overtake them?’ (1 Sam 30:8a). And David got a clear answer. “He (God) answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake and shall surely rescue’” (1 Sam 30:b).

This was not a fluke. Why, such a clear and definitive answer? David described himself as a man of prayer in Psalm 109:4. This was a way of life for him, not something he did only out of desperation. So, how do we get started? First, we find a place of prayer. Second, we set a time of prayer. Most pastors say that if you’re not a morning person, then set your time of prayer to night time. I’m not here to agree with the logic or wisdom in that, or the lack thereof.

What I’m saying is, Jesus got up early in the morning; before the sun came up, He was found to be in prayer. David declares in Psalms 3:5 that God will hear his voice in the morning. Could it be that we would rather schedule our time around our own likes and dislikes and our own schedules instead of scheduling around God’s desire? God wants our first of everything; I believe that includes the first of our day. Instead, we give it to the espresso machine or the coffee maker. But either way, begin with prayer at the time suitable for you, and let the Holy Spirit lead you into growth from there.

Father, give us a desire for prayer, and with the desire, teach us to pray. Help us not to let the enemy distract us from the time we should be spending with you. LORD, teach us to listen to Your voice, that we might get direction. And help us not to give up but to be diligent and consistent in prayer. In Jesus’ name, I pray, amen.

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