Will planned prayer times throughout the day help us draw closer to God?
I believe that God is very near us. In fact He is in us and we in Him. When we prayed to received Jesus into our hearts as Lord and Saviour, that day...that moment...God actually came in and dwell in us.
The Bible said; “I am crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me.”—Galatians 2:20
Also, "When I am raised to life again, you will know that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you."—John 14:20 (New Living Translation)
Yes, Jesus Christ came to stay in us the day we believed in Him and confessed with our mouth that He is Lord.
If He is in us - so near then there's no need to draw closer to Him. Yes and No.
Someone can be sitting next to us but we are so absorbed on other things, we are oblivious to her or him. Same way, Jesus is in us and we in Him, but our focus is taken off Him and we are distracted by the things around us; for example, the tasks that needed to be done, the people we need to visit with, the project which needs to be completed or the meals to plan and cook.
Only when we take our thoughts and focus away from all these demands and chores and turn our eyes to stay on Him, then we can say we are drawing close to Him.
Prayer times can be planned just as we planned the tasks to be accomplished each day.
Prayer times are moments which we allocate time to throughout the day to turn our eyes to God and communicate with Him. It might be just a minute or two before we push the button to switch on the computer, or when we bow to say grace before each meal. It does not need to be long.It only needs to allow us to touch base with our Father.
What about the Quiet Time? Didn't we spend time with God and prayed during the quiet time?
Truly, how many of us really have a quiet time with God in the morning before we rush out to travel to work?
But if we do have one, does that mean that we just go about our day without a word with or from Him? Abba God wants to be part of our daily life. He wants to bless the works of our hands. And for our own sake, we need to be conscious of Him and His lovingkindness towards us.
Quiet time could be part of these prayer times too.
Personally, being conscious of God's love and nearness and relying on Him every part of the day, I found that I have more confidence in the things I do, and joy in the doing.
I don't know about you but here are my prayer times throughout the day from the time I woke up to the time I retired to bed on a workday.
On a non-workday, I still follow the same format. Instead of All Ready to Go and On The Way To Work Prayer Times, I combined both into my Before I Start The Day Prayer. This is when I listen and singalong to worship songs, read my bible, meditate on the word and converse with God leisurely with a cup of coffee beside me.
I'm sure everyone have their own times of connecting with God throughout the day but if you have none, maybe you can try mine.
First touch base with God for me was when I open my eyes in the morning. I like to wish my Heavenly Father a hearty good morning and thank Him for a good night sleep. \o/
When I'm all dressed up and ready to leave home, I take Holy Communion.
It's a reminder of what Christ had done for me on the cross, His sacrifice once and for all to bring me peace with God. He who is sinless took my sins and judgement was meted out on Him. He was bruised for my iniquities and by His stripes I am healed. Because of His finished work on the cross, I am now the Righteousness of God in Christ.
I am forgiven, justified and made whole.
And because I am justified, God raised Him from the dead. He ascended to heaven and is coming back.
It's a less-than-5-minutes thing but It brings the whole story of my Lord and Saviour's life and work to remembrance and the fact that I am in Him and He in me. And that when God look at me, He does not see me but Christ in me and that I am the accepted /beloved of the Lord.
On workday, quiet time is not part of my Prayer times. Or maybe it's already part of my prayer times...like the On The Way To Work Prayer.
On a workday, I usually need to rush out to catch the bus. But once I got onto the bus, I like to start listening to a podcast from a good Christian channel. Usually, one of my pastor's sermons.
I need to change to a train and later to another bus to get to my work place.
By the time, I'm on the bus, I have finished listening to the sermon and will spend the last stage of the journey meditating on what I have heard, asking God about anything I don't understand or just praising Jesus in my heart.
Once I reached my workplace, before I push the button on my workstation, I commit myself to Him and declare who I am in Christ and that God will surely prosper the works of my hands. It is good to confess what I know and believe in my heart. :-)
Something about saying grace at meal time has troubled me for a long time. It's like a task that we need to get over fast so that we can move on to the most important task in front of us and that is eating and chit-chatting with fellow diners.
I realised that meal time prayers can be so meaningful and powerful. It's a time of bowing our heads to our God and Father who graciously bless us with all good things. A time to acknowledge that all good things come from His loving hands and to thank Him for them.
On the way home, I'm grateful for the works I could be able to accomplish in His name and complete in His strength and wisdom. I give thanks in my heart to Him who make all things good in the congested compartment of the train or bus. If I have a seat, I give thanks to Him for providing one. If I found no seat, I thank Him all the same for giving me strength in my legs to stand all the way.
It's not a one-way conversation. God responded many a time. It might be a thought, a warm feeling or bubbling joy. Mostly a quiet assuring peace.
I think, evening time after a long day at work is not a good time to make long conversation. We are tired and we just want to relax. So be it. Relax in His presence. Know that He holds us in His embrace and we can just rest in Him.
Thank you, Lord, for your love and protection throughout the day.
Thank you and Goodnight, Lord! zzz
Not every conversation with God in my prayer times is about positive things.
Many a time, I will bring something that I am concerned about to God's attention. Tell him what I feel or am not happy with. Something I'm confused about or not peaceful with.
Prayer is just talking to God naturally. No pretence! No using religious slang. Just being natural. We are talking to our Father, our Abba God. No need to sugar-coat or sweet talk God. He knows everything. Most of all, He loves listening to us - all ready to reach out and assure us all is well because He is a loving Father and we are His beloved sons and daughters.
The above prayer times are planned and are not mandatory. Missed once or twice? It's ok! Start over again. It helps - just like the stickers we placed around the house or at our workstations. These are just reminders. We need them.
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