"That's why I urge you to pray for absolutely everything, ranging from small to large. Include everything as you embrace this God-life, and you'll get God's everything."
- Mark 11:24 MSG
I was having some major computer problems the other day, and my son, Joseph, labored for hours trying to resolve them. After he succeeded in getting everything in working order, and he went off to do something else, a minor, irritating glitch popped up. I decided that I was not going to bother my son again, and I worked for hours trying to fix the problem myself, praying that the Lord would equip me with the wisdom and skill I needed. I finally went to bed, feeling frustrated and defeated. The next morning, I tried again, to no avail. I began to sense in my spirit that there was a purpose behind the whole thing, and I asked the Lord what lesson He might be trying to teach me. Finally, I relented and called on Joseph to fix the problem. It took him all of three seconds. Afterwards, my son admonished me for not asking for his help right away. Instead of thanking me for not bothering him, he chastised me for wasting time. And he made me promise to call on him promptly the next time I needed help.
Later, it dawned on me what lesson God was trying to teach me through this experience. When we are faced with a task or challenge of any kind, the Lord wants us to ask Him for help right away. If we don't, we could spend fruitless hours trying to accomplish something that could be done in only minutes with God's help. Moses, the great man of God, prayed, “Teach us to make the most of our time, so that we may grow in wisdom.” (Psalm 90:12 NLT) In the sight of God, time is precious, and He knows that one of the best timesavers is prayer. When we call on the Lord in prayer when we have a need, we are “making the most of our time.” As believers, we are not called to be busy. We are called to be fruitful and productive. And God has arranged it so that in order for us to be truly productive, we must depend on His involvement.
Jesus told His disciples: “Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:4-5 NIV) Our union and communion with Christ enable us to do things with His help that we could never accomplish on our own. The world's system teaches us to stand on our own, to be our own man (or woman), and to be independent. But that's not God's way. We are told to “abide” or “remain” in Him at all times. That means that we depend on Him for everything, and we consult Him in everything. We don't make a move without Him. Christ is our example. He said: “I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord--but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]...” (John 5:30 AMP) If anyone had a right to have an independent spirit, it was Christ. But He didn't. He relied on the Father continually, and we should, too. Otherwise, as the Lord says, we will “do nothing.” Nothing of any real or eternal value, that is.
Prayer is not only a big factor in making the most of our time, but also in being productive. Jesus said: “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples.” (John 15:7-8 NIV) A disciple of Christ who is walking in the perfect will of God prays “without ceasing”. (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NKJV) He commits all of his endeavors to the Lord, and He trusts Him for His help. (Psalm 37:5 NLT) He meditates on the Word of God “day and night,” until it becomes planted deep inside of him. (Psalm 1:2-3) And he bears "fruit that will last" for all eternity--fruit that glorifies God. (John 15:16)
If prayer is the ultimate timesaver, then prayerlessness is the ultimate time waster. From now on, don't squander your time. Make the most of it by calling on God and opening the door to all of the magnificent resources of Heaven!
Prayer: Lord, forgive me for all of the times that I neglected to call on You for help when I had a need. Remind me that when I reach out to You in large matters or small, I'm not "bothering" You, but I'm obeying You. Thank You that as I invite your involvement into everything I do, I will produce abundant fruit for Your glory!
- J. M. Farro