My Broken Road To Grace: Post Thirty ( When Do You Pray?)
As a young man I was the kind of guy who jumped out of bed when I woke up in the morning ready to start the day, I would make my bed as soon as I got out of it, straighten my room, get dressed and head to the kitchen for my morning coffee and breakfast before I went off to work or the other events of any given day. As I aged a little however the prospect of sleeping in became more and more appealing and the practice of starting a little slower became the norm.
When I was diagnosed with heart trouble and forced to retire, my doctors instructions were to throw away my alarm clock, citing as a reason that more fatal heart attacks occur in men 55 and over before 8AM than at any other time. Apparently the act of rushing around causes stress, something that is never good for a heart patient, stress causes the body to produce a hormone that actually causes arteries to constrict and therein lies the eminent danger. I have to confess that I took my doctor's advice to heart (no pun intended) and it is the rare occasion these days that I rush to get up or do anything else in a hurry for that matter.
As I changed my thinking about getting up in the morning and lay in bed contemplating my day and deliberately rising slow and easy it became apparent to me that it was a good time to do a few things that would help me start the day off right. The older I get, the stiffer my body feels when I awake each day and in reading of ways to combat this problem, I learned that there are a series of stretches and exercising that can be done to help alleviate the symptoms of that malady at least to some degree so I added that regimen to my morning routine. Later when I began to have problems with arthritis in my knees I was told that moving each knee back and forth as many times as possible as I could before arising and attempting to walk would help to loosen those joints and ease the pain of that ailment as well. So there I was, waking slowly, stretching and bending and popping in an effort to greet the new day as pain free as possible when it occurred to me that I was leaving out a very important part of my morning routine, the most important part in fact. I was neglecting to start the day by talking with the Lord.
I had always been one to pray myself to sleep each night, thanking God for his blessings and asking for His guidance and leadership in matters of concern. When I used to rush around in the mornings however, regrettably prayer time, in the morning anyway, sort of found itself at the bottom of the list, what a backward way of looking at things.
You see as Christians, we should begin our day as well as end it at the most important place that there is for us to be, at the feet of Jesus. Of course we should also pray at other times in the day as we feel led or the need arises. I heard a pastor say some months ago regarding Facebook that he had employed a new technique when someone expressed a need for prayer. Instead of sending a message that he would pray for them. He stopped what he was doing and took the time to lift that person up to God right there at that moment. It is a method that I have employed for some time now and for me it has been quite rewarding.
In short, it is safe to say that there is no right or wrong time of the day to pray. Psalm 55:17 says: "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice." Prayer is our direct communication with God. Certainly He knows our hearts before we ever approach Him and I believe the He even answers prayers for us that are sometimes simply too filled with angst and difficult to utter.
I also think that God sees our prayers as a form of worship and wants us to approach Him regularly. Whether you rise slowly or in a rush seeking God in the calmness of the morning or on the fly, whether you seek God's face at the end of the day, or employ the Biblical instruction to pray without ceasing, the important thing to remember is this pray, period! Your constant contact with God will keep you close to him and enlighten and bless your life. Make prayer a regular and permanent part of your day. You will not regret it.