When God starts working on you, he is like a bulldog. Once he gets his teeth into you, he won't let go. A week ago, I wrote about crying out to God in desperation. Sunday, God grabbed my attention through a young man who saw in me what he called a weariness. He didn't have the right word for it, but I think God gave him an insight in order to help me get an insight into prayer and myself. This morning as I read about prayer, God pressed in. The author was making a case for early morning time with God. She got me when she quoted a music analogy from Hudson Taylor, 19th century missionary to China. Here's what he said:
"Do not have your concert first and tune your instruments afterward. Begin the day with the Word of God and prayer, ang get first of all into harmony with him." No musician would begin a concert before tuning up. Why then would I begin the daily concert of life without tuning my heart?
I must confess that retirement hasn't been good for me in this area. I've allowed myself to sleep in till 6:30, sometimes even 7:00. I'm not an embodiment of energy in the morning, so by the time I work out and have breakfast, the morning is half gone. God has gotten the short shrift when I've been pressed for time. Discipleship is all about discipline; making choices with the eye on the long haul instead of what is momentarily convenient and easy. Everywhere I turn in this past week, God is there, pressing me to renew that discipline. This business of prayer is not just about the people who need intercession; it is about setting priorities, making sure I start the day with him so I can live well as much as pray well. I'm grateful tonight that God isn't allowing this retired preacher who should know better to get away with slacking off in prayer. I've already set the alarm. No sleeping in tomorrow; 6:00 will find me perhaps a bit groggy, but ready to listen, and to unburden my heart. I'll let you know how it turns out.