Jump to Prayer FocusBible Passage For Meditation: Luke 10:38-42
Key Verse: “But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:42
We often frown upon the fact that Martha couldn’t stop what she was doing to spend some quality time at Jesus’ feet, but what about us today? Why is it so hard for us to stop working and take some time to pray in the midst of a busy day?
I believe it is because taking time out of our day to pray is incredibly humbling. Think about it. The more we get done in a day, the more people will view us as successful. However, when we spend time in secret prayer, no one knows. Not only are we entirely dependent upon God to work things out while we pray and surrender our burdens to Him behind the scenes, but we’re also losing the opportunity to be noticed by others for what we are doing.
These thoughts may seem narrow and self-centered, but how often do we act based on such self-seeking motives?
Naturally, the world favors talent, skill, accomplishment, and energy, and thus those with these apparent virtues often get applauded and chosen for responsible positions, even in church leadership. But what type of man or women is most needed in God’s work today? It’s the humble man and woman who don’t just talk about the power of prayer but who actually take time to pray.
Just consider those whom God used to do the greatest work during Bible times.
Moses spent days and nights in prayer, and then led millions out of slavery. Daniel, a top-ranking counselor to the king of Babylon, retired to his room three times each day just to pray, and as a result was promoted to even higher status after miraculously escaping the lions’ den. But the stories don’t stop there. Consider these: Joshua telling the sun to stand still, and the sun obeying. Esther courageously saving her people. King David, Peter, Paul, Jesus, and other Bible leaders who humbled themselves through daily prayer—the list goes on and on!
Regarding these and many others, Ellen White writes, “How often those who trusted the word of God, though in themselves utterly helpless, have withstood the power of the whole world” (Education, p. 254). How did they do this? Through the power of significant time in prayer!
Of Martin Luther, the leader of the Protestant Reformation, we are told, “From the secret place of prayer came the power that shook the world in the Great Reformation.” In fact, during the time when Martin Luther was under the most pressure to defend himself, we are told that he “did not pass a day without devoting three hours at least to prayer, and they were hours selected from those the most favorable to study” (The Great Controversy, p. 210).
The key to Martin Luther’s success, which is still shaking our world almost 500 years later, was putting aside that which would be more noticeable to connect with the only Power capable of bringing true reformation and change.
“In the sight of men the self-sufficient worker may seem to be moving the world; but in the sight of God the humble wrestler moves heaven. The hosts of God are interested in the humble, praying man, who dares not make a move without first coming in prayer into the presence of God to counsel with the Omnipotent” (Review and Herald, July 4, 1893, par. 7).
Truly taking time to pray and sit at Jesus’ feet, when we could be busy accomplishing something important, takes great humility. But when we humble ourselves and make time for prayer, we will find that God will work for us and accomplish in a short time what it might have taken us years to do in our own strength.
Heart Prayer Challenge:
Dear Heavenly Father, forgive us for being too proud and self-sufficient to stop what we are doing and pray. Forgive us for valuing recognition more than we value the blessing of the Holy Spirit to move Your work forward. Please increase our faith in Your willingness to answer, and work a mighty reformation today in answer to our prayer. We need You desperately as a church. We need You to help us humble our hearts that You can exalt us in Your time. Please be exalted in our lives, dear Jesus, as we, Your people, call upon You and humble ourselves in prayer. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.