To Rob Thee of God

E. M. Bounds wrote a book years ago entitled Preacher and Prayer. My good friend, Ron Ethridge sent me this quote from chapter 8 of that book:

Dr. Judson’s success in prayer is attributable to the fact that he gave much time to prayer. He says on this point:

“Arrange thy affairs, if possible, so that thou canst leisurely devote two or three hours every day not merely to devotional exercises but to the very act of secret prayer and communion with God. Endeavor seven times a day to withdraw from business and company and lift up thy soul to God in private retirement. Begin the day by rising after midnight and devoting some time amid the silence and darkness of the night to this sacred work. Let the hour of opening dawn find thee at the same work. Let the hours of nine, twelve, three, six, and nine at night witness the same. Be resolute in his cause. Make all practicable sacrifices to maintain it. Consider that thy time is short, and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy God.”

Wow! I realize Judson lived in a different age in which I live. He lived without many of the modern conveniences I enjoy and that also distract me. Perhaps that is why he was able to give so much of his time and energy to devotional exercises. Yet, in contrast, his way of life was much more arduous than mine, which leads me back to the useless argument that conveniences cannot be an excuse for lack of prayer, devotion and solitude in my life.

If there is anything I have to work at, it is my time alone with the Lord. So many things—even good things—distract me from my time alone with my Savior. Yet I realize I must devote more time to Him if I ever plan to be the man He has called me to be.

I have written about this subject countless times. And so I should. A pastor can never spend enough time alone with the Lord in prayer, meditation, study, and in sweet communion. And, I might add, if it is good enough for every pastor then it is surely good enough for every parishioner.

I don’t know what kind of day you have scheduled. I don’t know when you plan to stop to catch your breath. For some it may be late this evening when you return home from CrossPoint University. For others it may be this afternoon during lunch. Whenever that time is, use it wisely. Spend 30 minutes or an hour alone with your Father in Heaven. Enjoy sweet fellowship with Him. Read and study His Word. Call out to Him. Be patient. Wait. Listen. Then rest in His love. You do not want anything—business or company—to rob thee of God.


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