Let's Pray Now

One day a mother decided to take her three children to an ice skating party in a nearby town, but after several wrong turns and stops to ask directions, she pulled over to the side of the road and suggested they all ask God to help them find the rink. When they finally arrived, they were nearly an hour late.

The following week, as they got into the car to go skating again, her five-year-old son exclaimed, "Mom, let's pray now and save time!"

That little boy exposed one of the shortcomings in the prayer lives of many of us. We pray to God whenever we get into trouble, asking God to help take care of us. And there's certainly nothing wrong with that. God wants us to turn to Him when we are in need. As the Psalmist said, "When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17)

But sometimes that's the only time we pray. We don't feel the need to pray when things are going well in our lives. But, as that little 5-year-old boy noted, perhaps we wouldn't be in need nearly as much if we prayed in advance. If we prayed for wisdom. If we prayed for God's guidance in our lives. If we gave thanks for the many blessings we enjoy. If we prayed for God's will to be done. If we asked for God's presence. If we gave God the honor due Him.

As a father, I didn't mind if my children came to me when they needed something. I wanted them to do that. But it would have bothered me if that's the only time they ever spoke to me. I wanted a relationship with them that went beyond meeting their needs, a relationship of mutual love. An attitude of constant prayer is a distinguishing mark of the mature Christian, which is why we are commanded to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thess. 5:17). As someone once put it, “If you only pray when you’re in trouble, you’re in trouble.”

"Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving." (Col. 4:2) Let's pray now!

Alan Smith Innisfil, ON, Canada

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