A prayer of Habakkuk the prophet. On shigionoth.
Lord, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, Lord.
Repeat them in our day,
in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
- Habakkuk 1:1-2
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
- Ephesians 5:15-17
“Five hundred years ago, Martin Luther wrote, ‘To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.’ Author Robert Wolgemuth continues this thought: ‘Prayer is the glue that affixes your heart to your Heavenly Father.’ It is profound reverence for God, the fear of the Lord, which causes you to hate the things that God hates and love the things that He loves…to walk in holiness.
“Paul exhorted the Ephesians to ‘look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, making the best use of the time, because the days are evil’ (Ephesians 5:15-16). Walking in His ways puts the capital ’W’ in worship. Your actions reflect His character. Picture this wonderful circle of blessing: prayer brings you to deeper fellowship with God, leading to a loving fear of Him, giving you the wisdom of God, motivating you to obedience, manifesting itself in your praise to Him, involving you in activities that are eternally important, and giving Him glory and you the blessing.”
- Presidential Prayer Team Devotion
We were watching a television show the other night. A suspect in a crime got indignant about a cufflink that was found at the crime scene. He went on a rant describing how many times in a day you had to fiddle with the cufflinks, spouting off calculations of how much time each year was wasted in something as mundane as fixing the cuffs on your sleeve. The inference is that every second of every day should be spent in making money. Otherwise, you are wasting time.
I look back on my life and consider that I have wasted too much of my time in not praying. The money makers would consider prayer time wasteful, but if you pray properly, as the Scripture above says to seek God’s wisdom, then it is not wasted at all. Too much of my busy life was doing what the boss wanted me to do or the family wanted me to do, and fitting God in the gaps. You don’t get into the mode of listening for God’s Voice ‘in the gaps.’
In Born after Midnight, A. W. Tozer wrote, “It may be said without qualification that every man is as holy and as full of the Spirit as he wants to be. He may not be as full as he wishes he were…” He is right. We may wish for God’s wisdom, but if we do not put in the effort, we did not want it that bad. I was a church leader. I taught Sunday school and led special Bible studies. I worked in one ministry or another, but in a way those things were part of the problem. I should have taken Martin Luther’s lead. When a busy day presented itself, I should pray even longer and more intently, maybe set the alarm to wake up earlier. Instead, I said a quick prayer while driving to the event (wasting no time), but not waiting for God’s answer.
Maybe by comparison, I was alright. Maybe I am being hard on myself, now that I am retired and I can spend hours listening to God. But maybe I would have grown into an even closer relationship with my Savior had I spent more time in prayer.
While there is still time, I will make up for some of that ‘wasted time,’ doing the necessary things called ‘life.’
Soli Deo Gloria. Only to God be the Glory.