Investing Time In Prayer

The Praying Mantis is the only creature that is known to only have one ear. It has one single ear located deep within its chest. It detects sounds through its single ear within its chest cavity, rather than on its head like most other creatures. It was once commonly accepted that Praying Mantises were deaf, but scientists discovered in the 1980s that not only can the insect hear, but it can detect sounds well beyond what humans are capable of hearing. It uses its high-frequency hearing to scope out and protect themselves against predators.

Where is the spiritual heart of man? It is not inside the physical body. The heart of a tree is the center of the tree. Likewise the spiritual heart of a man is the center of man, located in the innermost being, in the spiritual man. God is a Spirit. God always speaks directly to the core of man, directly into his inner ear, the H “E A R” T. How often do you make time to listen to the voice of God in your heart? How often to you turn off the television, the radio, the music, the phone, and all of the noise the god of this world purposely uses to keep your mind busy so that you are spiritually deaf to God’s voice? God does not compete with the noise of this world. Those that value His voice make time and live a lifestyle conducive to hearing His voice. The majority of people live in ignorance of the voice of God, because it is not convenient to their chosen lifestyle.

How do you know what your heart values most? It is wherever you invest your time. “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be,” said the Lord Jesus. We always invest our hearts where the treasure of our heart is. Should we invest time in prayer? If our relationship with God is important to us we should. Prayer is not just about what we say, or how we say it. Prayer is about a heart relationship that is worthy of the investment of our time. Relationships are strengthened or weakened by the heart felt time we invest in them. The attention of our heart and the investment of our time determines the depth of our relationship with God. Someone may say, “Well, I have a busy life, I don’t have time to spend with God!” I am sure you are busy. The god of this world will make sure of that! Even people that spend time in prayer have to consciously make sure the center of their heart’s attention is on God. Many people’s heart is preoccupied with themselves, their reputation in the eyes of people, their needs, their desires, their schedules, their family, world events, and life’s problems. God does not occupy their heart. The idols of human personalities and the vanities of this world are their gods. Therefore, their investment in prayer pays off little, because God and His Word are not at the center of their lives.

How do you change your heart? By the investment of your attention and time. Whatever you invest your time and attention in magnifies and becomes preeminent in your heart. The theme of the Bible is keeping God and His Word in the center of our heart day and night. When we give our time and attention to God and His Word, we give Him an open door to our hearts. When God and His Word have access to our hearts He changes the beliefs and desires of our hearts into agreement with Himself. Only then can we trust and follow the desires of our hearts. Persevering in prayer with God and His Word at the center of our heart produces tremendous power in this world, and therefore, there is tremendous opposition against it. Why? Because God and His Word are invincible, and anyone that in agreement with Him and His Word is a threat to the god of this world.

“In whom the god of this world has blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” (2 Corinthians 4:4)

“For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon you, and his glory shall be seen upon you.“ (Isaiah 60:2)

The majority of people in the world will always live in spiritual darkness. What is spiritual darkness? Absence of spiritual light. It is ignorance of God, His truth, His ways, and His kingdom purposes. Have you ever noticed that anytime you intend to read the Bible or pray, your mind comes up with all kinds of other ideas of things to do? If you ever make to the Bible or prayer your mind starts wandering onto other things, your body starts craving food, your family starts causing problems, your friends start calling you on the phone, etc. What is that? Spiritual warfare! Your enemy wants to steal the attention of your heart away from God so that there is no connection and no reception to His voice.

When you draw near to God with your heart in prayer He draws near to you in revelation of eternal truth. God lives in eternity where there are no limitations. This is the reason for His omniscience, omnipotence, infinitive, and eternal Being. When a finite and time bound being like man draws near to Him with a true heart they supersede the limitations of this natural world which operates under the law of light where the darkness has no grasp upon their minds. Hence, the reason for opposition to a relationship with God.

Jesus said to His disciples, “Could you not watch 1 hour in prayer?” Why did Jesus add a time aspect to prayer if there was not a time aspect to it? Obviously it was not about just saying a perfect prayer that was important. It was not about just saying heart felt sincere prayer. It was not about just a specific posture in prayer, like folding your hands, bowing your head, laying on your face, or kneeling down. It was not about just a specific location, such as a prayer closet, a church, or some kind of holy place. It was about persevering with an earnest intention for a certain amount of time, not limited to 1 hour, but still referencing the time aspect to indicate the importance of an investment of time. Lazy, apathetic, and undisciplined people who love the false doctrines of grace and faith will say, “Your being legalistic.” Tell that to Jesus, because He brought up 1 hour!

There are different results for those that invest time in prayer and those that do not. Regarding the incident Jesus made in the above quote He personally persevered in prayer, not just one time, or two times, but three different distinct times all in one setting, and all about the same topic, until He was satisfied with the answer He received. As a result of His integrity and devotion to God’s will, He was able to carry out the Father’s will and not His own soulical challenges that were opposed to the will of God. Whereas, the disciples who had given their lives in consecration to follow their beliefs in God, did not persevere in something as little as spending time in prayer to God, which cost no money, requires no performance, skill, or education. This lack of heart integrity resulted in the absence of confidence, assurance, conviction, strength, and courage to fulfill God’s will and following His Living Word, fleeing in fear to save their own pitiful lives.

Jesus was a man like all other men born to the Adamic race. He referred to Himself as the son of man. However, His heart was devoted to live by every word God spoke. He would not just simply say a “prayer of faith” and put all responsibility on God for the results. He took personal responsibility to persevere in prayer, repeatedly as necessary, to fulfill His own obedience, knowing that without the confidence and strength that comes from relationship with God, He would never have the ability to do the Father’s will. He valued that reward that comes from relationship with God supremely to all other benefits of time investment, was able to fulfill all the Father’s will till His last breath, and received the reward of power over all heaven and earth.

God illustrated and established this truth by two witnesses in the Bible Moses and Jesus, who both had a right heart, and persevered in prayer till the light of God was revealed to them and shined through them.

“This is the third time I am coming to you. ‘In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established.’” (2 Corinthians 13:1)

“And it came to pass, when Moses came down from mount Sinai with the two tables of testimony in Moses’ hand, when he came down from the mount, that Moses knew not that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. And when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone; and they were afraid to come nigh him. And Moses called unto them; and Aaron and all the rulers of the congregation returned unto him: and Moses talked with them. And afterward all the children of Israel came nigh: and he gave them in commandment all that the LORD had spoken with him in mount Sinai. And till Moses had done speaking with them, he put a vail on his face. But when Moses went in before the LORD to speak with Him, he took the vail off, until he came out. And he came out, and spoke unto the children of Israel that which he was commanded. And the children of Israel saw the face of Moses, that the skin of Moses’ face shone: and Moses put the vail upon his face again, until he went in to speak with Him.” (Exodus 34:29-35)

The primary difference between the ministry of the Lord Jesus and most other ministries is who is chasing who. Jesus came to seek the lost, but He did not chase after them. He walked in agreement and obedience to the Father, and God drew them to Him. Most ministers walk in agreement with the opinions and traditions of men, and as a result carry no anointing or word for people to seek. People sought after Jesus because God was with Him, and anointed Him with the Word and the power of the Holy Spirit. Most ministers are constantly seeking people because God is not walking with them or anointing them, because He is not the center of their heart’s attention, other things are.

We are called to be witnesses of God, but how can we be a witness to Someone we don’t know? Most believers witness to a lack of relationship with God.

“And from there He arose, and went into the borders of Tyre and Sidon, and entered into an house, and would have no man know it: but He could not be hid.” (Mark 7:24)

God knows what is coming ahead of us, and He draws us to Himself to prepare us, because some things cannot be accomplished or endured without the preparation of our hearts and the supply of His power. The humble live dependent upon God, but the proud live independent of Him. God knew what Jesus was going to deal with, so He drew Him up into the mountain of prayer to prepare His heart and empower His spirit.

“LORD, You have heard the desire of the humble: You will prepare their heart, You will cause Your ear to hear:” (Psalms 10:17)

“And after six days Jesus takes with Him Peter, and James, and John, and leads them up into an high mountain apart by themselves: and He was transfigured before them. And His raiment became shining, exceeding white as snow; so as no fuller on earth can white them….And when He came to His disciples, He saw a great multitude about them, and the scribes questioning with them. And straightway all the people, when they beheld Him, were greatly amazed, and running to Him saluted Him. And He asked the scribes, ‘What question you with them?’ And one of the multitude answered and said, ‘Master, I have brought unto You my son, which has a dumb spirit; And wherever he takes him, he tears him: and he foams, and gnashes with his teeth, and pines away: and I spoke to Your disciples that they should cast him out; and they could not.’ He answered him, and said, ‘O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? Bring him unto Me’…And when He was come into the house, His disciples asked Him privately, ‘Why could not we cast him out?’ And He said unto them, ‘This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.’” (Mark 9)

The answers we need and desire are in the presence of God waiting for those who are earnest enough to seek them. God is not withholding them from us, but the darkness against us is blinding our minds from perceiving them. We all wish God would just give them to us without any relationship, but He loves us too much to give wisdom and power to those that have not developed the necessary relationship with Him, so He can produce the required character for long term success. He has provided the gifts of His Word and prayer to prove the integrity and sincerity of our hearts. In relationship with Him there is unlimited love, light, and power for all that need it and will seek it.

“O how love I Your law! It is my meditation all the day.” (Psalms 119:97)

“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” (Psalms 19:14)

“I have more understanding than all my teachers: for Your testimonies are my meditation.” (Psalms 119:99)

“The LORD shall judge the people: judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness, and according to mine integrity that is in me.” (Psalms 7:8)

“The LORD rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands has He recompensed me.” (Psalms 18:20)

“Keep your heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.” (Proverbs 4:23)

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