When I was younger I used to preach some Sunday’s through a program at my college called Samford Sunday’s, in which college students get a chance to give a sermon in a pulpit at smaller to medium size Baptist church (throughout the state). Most of the people in the program were religion majors and I think I was the only political science major who would do that J (had to represent). I also was fairly sure I was the only Presbyterian in a sea of Baptist but I absolutely loved doing it. I enjoy being around people, and although speaking in public wasn’t my first choice I was comfortable enough with it to handle a 20-30 minute lesson. One thing that stands out most from that experience is I remember the hymns that were sung and though I wasn’t a fan of the musical arrangement, the words in many hymns are so deep. Recently, I was on Spotify and was looking for hymns put to new music and came across a hymn I must have sung 100 times and never really thought about. The name of the song is “What a friend we have in Jesus” and I listened to it and realized how current the message in the song was something I needed to take to heart. The Line I am referring to is “What a Friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer! O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear, All because we do not carry Everything to God in prayer!.”
The truth of this hymn is astonishing and convicting because I can see all the trials and challenges I face and the consistent thing I have seen is that when I don’t go to the Lord in prayer they overwhelm me and I get discouraged. Prayer isn’t a wish list we give to God so he can give us what we want, but a means by which our heart and his heart become one and our desires change. Sometimes I let pride get the better of me and I think that I don’t need God, but the truth is I am hopelessly lost, easily distracted and constantly frustrated when I don’t consistently pursue the Lord in prayer. The hardest thing as a Christian to see how often a failure to do the small things…. lead to big problems. One story my pastor told about Jack Nicolaus is that he continued to use his same golf instructor throughout most of his life, but when the press asked him what Jack was working on prior to a big tournament he would say things like having a proper grip and following through with his swing. This was stunning to sports journalist who knew these to be the very most basic things in golf and couldn’t understand why the world’s best golfer would waste his time on them… but the truth is Jack Nicolaus knew that it was when golfers got away from the fundamentals that they started to lose games.
In my own walk with the lord I have often wanted to understand the most complex doctrines and somehow forget to be consistent in prayer and serving others. If any of you want to live a joyful life in Christ then remember that spending time with him in prayer is the only way to do that. You can’t have any good relationship without fellowship, and life is hard so having someone who loves us unconditional and is always working for our good is an encouragement. So many trials I get caught in could have been avoided if I had only spent the time bringing it to the lord and prayer, and I promise you that when you look at your greatest challenges the answer will be you need to spend more time in prayer with the lord. Martin Luther once said “I spend an hour a day in the word and in prayer….. Except when I get really busy and then I spend two” what a wise saying because Martin Luther when we are exceptionally busy how much more time do we need to give to the lord.
I really want to pursue the Lord better in this regard and I want to encourage you to do the same. I often write about doctrine, Christian living and overcoming suffering through faith but none of those things matter if you’re not spending time with the Lord who loves you with all of his heart. My friend please take it to the lord with prayer and when you are praying please remember to lift me up as well. I love managing a law firm and getting to write a national column for Newsmax (As well as weekly radio and TV) and I love being an attorney and have the absolute best staff and best clients but all that being said I feel like I need about 120 hours to get everything done each week and in my prayer time I realized I was being less efficient, because I don’t rest enough nor keep the Sabbath and now that I am going through briarwood’s diaconate class I realize that I have to do those things because I can’t place my work over the Lord, because when I do that I become less happy and less wise. If you are a great prayer warrior and give much time to prayer please lift me up and ask that God would grant healing to my body (chronic pain from rare form of arthritis), wisdom to my mind and joy to my heart. The prayers of others have had such a profound effect on me that I really do covet your prayers. Please e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or you can text me at 205-913-7406. You can look at what my law firm does by clicking on www.reidlawalabama.com . Anyway God Bless you all!