Very early the next morning, Jesus got up and went to a place where he could be alone and pray Mark1:35 CEV.
When I ask others about their greatest struggles for prayer, I regularly hear about obstacles such as distractions, dryness or doubts. If we aren’t already struggling with feeling worthy before God, focusing our attention on prayer is extremely difficult.
I want to encourage you at the outset not to be upset or discouraged: you have lost neither time nor merit. Do not lay aside your pursuit. When you come before the Lord it is continue in our progress.
Your imagination may ramble over an infinite number of thoughts, yet, I assure you, the Lord has not left. Continue your perseverance in prayer. Remember that He prays within you, and He prays in spirit and in truth. The distraction of the mind—which is not intended—does not rob the prayer of its fruit.
The wonderful promise is that you have a desire to pray and to that end you went before Him. Faith and Intention are always enough. These always continue.
Our spirit of faith enables us to see God, believe in Him and stands in His presence. The inmost portions of our being has no need to say, Lord you are here – Your heart always believes. Your spirit knows He is there
Go then to the place where belief and knowing are always present.
‘But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.’ (Matthew 6:6)
And how do you go there? By faith alone
We cannot journey without intention. That first step is an indication of our intention. We arrive there by means of an act of faith and by a perfect surrender on our part as we wait in His presence.
When the time before the Lord has come, know that your faith and intention will guide and conduct you to God.
A COMMITMENT ESTABLISHED
The most important commitment I ever made was to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and all that His salvation offered and humbly accept Him as my Lord and Saviour. It has affected every area of my life, none more important than my early morning private prayer time each day with God. It is the commitment that I live out moment-by-moment on a day-to-day basis. It’s a commitment that has been life altering and life shaping. It is a commitment that I want to challenge you to establish in your own life.
For me the commitment began when I decided to place prayer at the heart of my very being and then I having to maintain that commitment daily.
It is vitally important that we maintain a personal contact with Him everyday, every moment of our lives through private prayer. I discovered that if I did not build private prayer into my daily routine I replaced it with lesser priorities. This was the start of a commitment being established. This was the foundation for an undistorted relationship with the Lord who desires to abide in each one of us daily.
I am still living that commitment – daily personal, private prayer, many years later. It has required time, energy, sacrifice. It has affected me on every area, affected my family and relationships, at every level, on every day. It has not been easy and so many times I find myself having to come back to the Lord to seek forgiveness. But I believe God has blessed my faithfulness and obedience and that has enabled me to firmly establish that daily commitment to personal, private prayer.
Think about this for a moment:
Do you have the commitment to private, regular daily prayer? I am not asking if your prayers are perfect (mine are far from it), whether or not at times you are negligent. But I am asking this: Do you have regular, set, planned moments each day for personal, private prayer? If not, why not?
We all have habits – habits of sleeping, eating, personal hygiene, the time that we go to work, go to school. For everyone that believes in God, personal, private prayer should be an essential habit of our daily activities. Jesus Christ did not take personal prayer lightly. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
It’s a commitment that once established, I’m convinced, will change your life