He first showed us over two thousand years ago, how to really live in constant communion with God. The Lord Jesus Christ, He lived and exemplified a prayerful life. I wrote about that in detail in To Be Christlike: Prayerful. (If you’ve missed it before, I hope you click on the link after reading this post ~ thank you!)
There were days when I felt so discouraged and grew faint in praying, but the life of Jesus would come to mind and I’d then say to Him, “I’m here again before You, Lord, re-believing that prayer must work. You Yourself taught us to pray always, to persevere in prayer and not grow faint (praying His Word; see Luke 18:1). So, I’m praying now and persevering, and continuing to believe that my prayers are not in vain.”
I have also written a few times before how the beloved workers of JMCIM, an Apostolic Church, praise and worship the Lord many hours in the morning and again in the evening, praying always with all prayer and supplications in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, reminiscent of the early disciples’ practice (see Acts 6:4). I have described this devoted life in Praise, Pray, Fast and in The 7 Habits of a Spirit-filled Christian (I do hope that you will click on these links also if you’ve missed them).
At 3 o’clock in the afternoon when the workers are finished praising, worshiping and praying, and have taken a break from fasting, they will disperse to attend to other duties, namely, assist in Bible Studies or visit the sick in the hospitals or in the homes upon request. In this way, the workers are fully equipped with the Lord’s fresh anointing and their prayers are therefore powerful.
There is also a testimony of one of the beloved preachers, Dr. Ric Alarcon, which I haven’t forgotten ever since I heard it. Bel. Doc (as he is fondly called) would close his clinic at noontime, and instead of enjoying a hearty lunch, he would be praising, worshiping and praying the whole lunch break. Even if there were patients waiting outside (and he praised and prayed every morning and evening as we’ve all been taught), Bel. Doc gave priority to spending time in the presence of the Lord. Why? He was driven by His deep gratitude to Him.
Bel. Doc arrived in JMCIM a very sick man, having suffered from bronchial asthma since he was little and then in his adult years, he acquired a liver disease which the doctors could no longer cure. To make the story short, he was completely healed by the Lord when he received Him in his life and was baptized in His name. Later on, Bel. Doc left his flourishing career for good and totally surrendered his life to the Lord as full-time preacher. Halleluiah! (You can read beloved Dr. Ric Alarcon’s testimony here).
Pondering on these stories, from the Lord Jesus to His present-day followers, we can see that there are two common factors: desire and discipline.
Desire and discipline. A successful prayerful life cannot be achieved without one or the other.
By God’s grace, I praise, worship and pray in the morning and at night (sometimes as late as midnight for that could be the only time I find myself free from discomforts or worse, from the many things I get myself busy with). But there’s always this awareness that the Spirit is calling me to spend more time with God, like praying in the late-afternoon or early evening. I have done it intermittently, not being steadfast with the practice, and for that, I feel strongly convicted.
A prayerful life is not supposed to be easy and comfortable but sacrificing, but the rewards are immeasurable.
My weekly gratitude list – thankful to the Lord for:
- these piping hot homemade mini lemon doughnuts on a summer afternoon.
- the wonderful time reading books with Hannah – the “lightbulb moments” and the hearty laughs.
- my daughter waking up in the wee hours of the morning to assist me.
- for turning sad and difficult situations into opportunities to teach her compassion.
- for PicMonkey.com (for Picnik.com is closing).