Sweet Moment of Prayer

Then He came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” – Matthew 26:40-41.

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him. – 1 John 5:14-15.

We sometimes sing the hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer.” The words of the hymn were written by William Walford who lived 1772-1850. It is a beautiful old hymn with great expression of a mature Christian’s love for communing with God. Here is the first verse:

“Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
That calls me from a world of care
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known!
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By Thy return, sweet hour of prayer.”

But how many Christians in the 21st Century really pray for an hour a day? How many have ever prayed even once for an hour? How many pray for 30 minutes? How many pray for 15 minutes? How many even pray for five minutes? How many pray nothing at all?

At a prayer conference, I was once told that the average evangelical Christian prays only four to six minutes per day. Maybe we should change the words of the hymn to “Sweet Moment of Prayer, Sweet Moment of Prayer.” It is no wonder we are powerless Christians with so many “enter(ing) into temptation.” It is no wonder that our world has so many problems with so few Christians actually spending any substantial time in prayer. The hymn in our hymnal immediately after “Sweet Hour of Prayer” is “Take Time to be Holy,” which seems to be appropriate. E. M. Bounds wrote, “Prayer and a holy life are one. They mutually act and react. Neither can survive alone. The absence of one is the absence of the other.”

As we can see prayer is a vital necessity for the child of God. It may be that we do not know where to begin or even what to pray about. The apostle Paul gives us a starting point when he says “Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth (1 Timothy 2:1-4).”

Let us pray….

(In an age of technology there are still some things that technology cannot improve. One of those things is prayer. We still need to just stop and spend some time with our God. No computer, no radio, no intermediary, just talk to Him.)

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