Many companies rely on inspirational conferences to rekindle enthusiasm, enhance attitudes, and restore focus to employees. Motivational speakers and company conferences have their place, but human advice only goes so far. To really find spiritual focus, sit at the feet of the Lord Jesus. Nothing equals the motivation He gives for victorious living, and no one can equal His insight. Best of all, we don’t have to shell out thousands of dollars to hear Him. We can arrange a personal meeting every day.
The Priority of Prayer
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” That verse reveals our bottom line and our top priority. The bottom line is: He is God, Creator of the Universe, Sustainer of Eternity. Our top priority is being still long enough each day to know Him. We need dedicated periods of silence and solitude for prayer and the Word. Our quiet time is for turning off the noise, unplugging the distractions, and meeting Him.
I’m not against our electronics. I’m just saying we need to turn them off long enough to be still awhile; and we need to be still long enough to know that He is God. The Bible says, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15).
This is the attitude of prayer, and it should be a priority for us. Learn to shut the door of your closet (Matthew 6:6), calm and quiet your soul (Psalm 131:2), and say, “Speak, Lord, for Your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:9).
The Practice of Prayer
There are three great ways to practice the privilege of prayer. First, pray alone. The biblical heroes knew how to retreat to solitary places and agonize with God in prayer. Jacob wrestled through the night until he found power with God and man. Daniel retired to his private room three times a day for prayer. The apostle John was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day when He met the Lord in glorious vision. Christ often withdrew by Himself in prayer. Let’s make sure we do the same.
Second, pray with a prayer partner. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Your prayer partner may be your husband or wife or a friend at church, and the partnership can last for decades.
Third, pray at church and in groups. One day in 1832, a group of believers gathered on a beautiful spot near Russellville, Ohio. As the preacher spoke, the sky grew overcast with a storm that lightning, driving rain, dangerous winds, and crashing trees. Suddenly a stranger asked the assembly to kneel in prayer, and he began to pray softly and earnestly. As the man led the assembled crowd in prayer, the sky lightened, then brightened, then the sun broke through.1
The Power of Prayer
Cameron V. Thompson wrote, “A day without prayer is a day without blessing, and a life without prayer is a life without power.”2 That statement reminds me of a story from the life of Zig Ziglar, who was open about his Christian faith. When he shared his life story, he often began with the tenth day of his life. “I died that day,” he said.
Ten days earlier the doctor had delivered Hilary Hinton Ziglar (Zig), telling his mother, “You have a perfectly healthy baby boy.” But the infant’s health took a downward turn, and when the doctor returned he laid the baby on the bed, saying, “He is no more.”
As Zig told it: “My grandmother reached down and picked up this lifeless body, and they said she started talking to me. But… she was not talking to me, she was talking to her Heavenly Father. She was pleading for my life. God responded to that prayer, and obviously I did survive.”
“We need to carve out a time so that prayer is a priority to us…. When we pray, we are connecting with a living Person who loves, grieves, laughs, and hears.”3
At life’s greatest moments or dullest days, prayer keeps our focus on God, who can do exceedingly abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. It changes our lives and motivates us to live each day in the presence and with the power of the Lord.
1 Horace Lorenzo Hastings, Ebenezers; or Records of Prevailing Prayer (London: Houghton & Co., 1882), 11-17.
2 Cameron V. Thompson, Master Secrets of Prayer (Madison, GA: Light for Living Publications, 1990), 13.
3 Zig Ziglar, The One Year Daily Insights with Zig Ziglar (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2009), 8.
David Jeremiah is the senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Community Church and the founder and host of Turning Point for God. For more information about Dr. Jeremiah or Turning Point, visit www.DavidJeremiah.org.
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