WIMD Pulse - August 2012
Looking for Quiet Time to Pray?
By Linda Flower, MD
“You, Lord, are forgiving and good, abounding in love to all who call to you” (Psalm 86:5, NIV 2011).
Why is praying so hard? It’s not that I can’t find the words---and that does not matter, I have the Psalms and “the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Romans 8:26, NIV 2011). No, it’s finding the time…slowing down long enough to be still.
Perhaps that’s why my right knee has recently caused me such grief. It has truly slowed me down! I have to take breaks when the pain intensifies. It’s mostly just a nagging pain that makes me tired and a bit cranky. This has caused a kind of prolonged season of irritating suffering that helps me empathize with my patients. God is using it to refine me.
When I’m resting, I have to be careful not to get distracted by television, email and social media. Then there are the piles of papers all around me, begging my attention. Of course, there’s the CME I need to complete and, oh yes, now I need to make dinner for my family while I do the laundry. All of this comes after seeing patients and completing charts. Well, I could go on…clinic, rounds, church, friends, parties…when do we sleep, much less pray?
Still, as Oswald Chambers says, prayer is the most important work of the Christian. George Washington’s diary from Valley Forge tells how he decided he would have to change his daily habit of praying one hour each morning and evening. No, he was going to have to pray one hour each morning and two hours each night! A pastor friend told me he would get up even earlier to pray on days that he knew he was going to be particularly busy or challenging. One of our own WIMD members admonished us to pray, following her example of getting up at 4:30 each morning to spend time with God – and she delivers babies!
Whether we pray in the morning, at night or all throughout the day, we need to “just do it,” as the saying goes. God has called us to prayer: “And when you pray….” not “if you pray.” It is our time to get to know Him more and His time to make us into all He has designed us to be.
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears” (Psalm 34:4, ESV).
Prayer: Father God, I’m guilty of giving you the leftovers of my time. It’s not really my time, but yours. Help me to give you the first fruits of my days to you, for apart from You I can do nothing. Through Christ, Amen.