At daybreak, Lord, You hear my voice; at daybreak I plead my case to You and watch expectantly. (Psalm 5:3 HCSB)
I have said it before, there are probably more prayers prayed in April and November by men (and a growing number of women too) than any other time of the year. Why? April signifies the peak of the spring turkey hunting season whereas November is the peak of the deer hunting season. No doubt many not irregularly praying hunters are entering the woods early in the morning, asking God for a shot a big deer or turkey, and then sitting back and watching expectantly to see what happens next.
Today, May 3, 2012 is the National Day of Prayer. It is a day where as a nation we are reminded by Presidential Proclamation to pray for our country, its leaders, and each other. I am of course a big fan of the National Day of Prayer and applaud our leaders for continuing this official tradition despite the controversy and arguments against it by groups who believe prayer has no place in our governments. Wouldn’t it be great, however, if we could celebrate the gift of prayer every day of the year instead of only on the one day we are reminded or during those seasons in which our personal desires are our only influence and inspiration to do so?
I have no doubt that prayer is the most neglected spiritual discipline of the Christian life. I am not entirely sure why especially when we stop to think what amazing gift it is to be able to speak directly to God while knowing He listens. Have you considered just how powerful a force prayer can be not only in our own lives but also the lives of others; the way prayer changes lives? Then there is the unsurpassed intimacy with and fellowship with God we experience when we take time to earnestly and humbly pray. Why then do we so often relegate prayer only to the dinner table and Sunday mornings at church?
There is nothing wrong with praying in the woods, at the dinner table, on Sunday mornings, or even on May 3rd. But why limit prayer to just these times? Why not take full advantage of this gift we’ve been given to pray anywhere, anytime, out loud, or to yourself. Can we not commit time each day to pray for one another, our nation, our families, and ourselves?
Though I pray throughout the day the most natural time for me is in the mornings. Like King David who wrote this verse, I like to begin my day stating my case before God so I can sit back and watch Him work throughout the day. It also doesn’t hurt that mornings are often the times I find myself in the woods hunting turkeys and deer. It makes it all so convenient.
What about you? Do you pray? What do you pray for? Are you taking full advantage of your ability to communicate directly with God? Are you praying and then waiting and watching expectantly for God to work? Deer season is a long way off; why not start today and everyday.