It must be our anxious care, whenever we are ourselves pressed, or see others pressed by any trial, instantly to have recourse to God. And again, in any prosperity of ourselves or others, we must not omit to testify our recognition of God’s hand by praise and thanksgiving. Lastly, we must in all our prayers carefully avoid wishing to confine God to certain circumstances, or prescribe to him the time, place, or mode of action. In like manner, we are taught by [the Lord’s] prayer not to fix any law or impose any condition upon him, but leave it entirely to him to adopt whatever course of procedure seems to him best, in respect of method, time, and place. For, before we offer up any petition for ourselves, we ask that his will may be done, and by so doing place our will in subordination to his, just as if we had laid a curb upon it, that, instead of presuming to give law to God, it may regard him as the ruler and disposer of all its wishes.

-John Calvin

     

I was praying recently and all sorts of thoughts started racing through my head.  Anyone who has been praying for any amount of time knows what I am talking about.  But I’m not talking about the laundry list of things we have to do after we finish up our conversation with the Creator of the Cosmos.  I’m talking about the thoughts from the accuserour accuser.  He whispers, your prayer isn’t long enough, it’s not about the right stuff, it’s not sincere enough—and on and on.  And if we listen long enough to the bogus accusations, sooner or later we’ll throw our hands up and quit.  

Not to trivialize prayer, but I think it can be likened to every day examples in some instances.   It is said that when you get on a motorcycle everything else around you gets tuned out because of the focus it takes to operate a bike safely out on the open road.  Well, whatever it takes—we need to find out what our motorcycle is and jump on it when it comes to prayer.

 And rising very early in the morning,while it was still dark, he [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.   (Mark 1:35, The Message Bible) 

If Jesus had to separate himself from the every day distractions of life in his attempts to spend time in prayer—doesn’t it make sense that we might need to do likewise?

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