I’m taking a break from describing my family’s “House Rules” to write a little more about prayer today. We were born needing a relationship with God, and one key to that relationship is abundant prayer. Last week’s blog focused more on maintaining a running conversation with the Lord. Pre-planned prayer is important as well. We often schedule time with the ones we love. While those “dates” with friends and family don’t take the place of casual conversations, they’re still a very precious time of connection. Likewise, scheduling time with God is a pretty good idea. Ahh, but it’s so easy for life to get in the way of good ideas! That’s why, for many of us, early morning is a good time for pre-planned prayer.
Several years ago, my husband and I made a commitment to pray together every morning for thirty days. We bought a dual alarm clock and set the first wake-up call for half an hour before we needed to get out of bed, giving us time to pray together. (The second alarm told us to get up and get moving.) By the end of the week, I was looking forward to the end of the month. Getting up early was just too hard! By the time day thirty had arrived, though, I was hooked. (I’d also learned to go to bed a little earlier.) My days were different. I was different. As the year progressed, our new habit intact, I felt the loss of something precious every time we skipped a morning’s prayer. The God of all creation is ready to spend time with us, and that’s an offer too good to refuse.
Praying with another believer, a spouse or child or trusted friend, builds accountability into our commitment to spend time in prayer. Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” I don’t know why this verse suggests particular power in corporate prayer, but we don’t have to understand everything God tells us. We just have to follow his directions.
How do you fit pre-planned prayer into your day?