I had to take time to pray

I had to take time to pray


One of my greatest treasures and pleasures is a Quiet Time with God bright and early every morning. We’ve been doing it for several years our relationship has grown exponentially.

Initially it wasn’t easy. Even though I was an early riser, it meant emerging earlier than previously, so I pushed the boundaries to get up even earlier. It took persistence to make it a habit and there was some experimentation in establishing a format for the sessions. Now, I wouldn’t change it for anything!

A Quiet Time, a period of solitude, can increase your capacity for experiencing the presence of God. When you listen to your heart in rich moments of solitude, you are drawn to significant activity. Solitude enriches your spiritual resources, it is purposeful and productive.

The selection of a prayer time that best suits is important – you are making an appointment with God. Jesus selected the early mornings — In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place and prayed. [Mark 1:35]

The selection of a place is also important as ideally you don’t want to be interrupted. I have a space where the materials I need are located for easy access.

 He would go off to some deserted place and pray. [Luke 5: 16]

Jesus did it often! He did it for forty days prior to commencing His ministry; after John the Baptist was beheaded; before He walked on water; after instituting the sacrament of the Eucharist and prior to His being taken by the guards of the High Priest. In fact, it seems that he did it every day. He sought solitude to pray to His Heavenly Father.

After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray. [Matthew 14:23] If Jesus thought it worthwhile to take time out from His busy day, shouldn’t we do the same?

If only I had enough time, you say.

Time is the most priceless of possessions and the most basic of commodities. It costs nothing, but its true value fluctuates wildly. When wasted, it can cause great losses. When spent wisely, it lets its investors reap uncountable benefits. Time is not money – however, it can be spent toward beneficial or profitable ends. Although time cannot be saved, it can be wasted.

I wish I could manage my time better. You can’t manage time. The challenge is not the amount of time you have, but how you spend your time. It is basically a matter of priorities and values.

A poem, attributed to several different authors, sums it up rather well:-

I got up early one morning and rushed right into the day; I had so much to accomplish I didn’t take time to pray.

Problems just tumbled about me and heavier grew each task; Why doesn’t God help me, I wondered. He answered, “You didn’t ask.”

I wanted to see joy and beauty, But the day toiled on, grey and bleak; I wondered why God didn’t show me — He said, “But you didn’t seek.”

I tried to come into God’s presence; I used all my keys at the lock; God gently and lovingly chided, “My child, you didn’t knock.”

I woke up early this morning and paused before entering the day; I had so much to accomplish that I had to take time to pray.

Take time out to consider the institution of a daily Quiet Time for yourself. What time best suits you? Where will you have it? Pray to the Holy Spirit to guide and inspire you in the selection of a time and place for your daily Quiet Time – your appointment with God.  You’ll be glad you did!