Put Prayer on Your To-Do List

We waste time when we do not pray.
— Iain Murray

The great protestant reformer, Martin Luther, once famously said "I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer." Those humorous words hold a valuable lesson for us today in our productivity driven culture. How do we think of prayer? Is it a last resort or the go-to lifeline? Is it necessary or optional?


Sometimes I skip out or shorten my prayer times because I have other more pressing things to do. I've even sinfully used the excuse that I've got things to do for the Lord and spending so much time in prayer would be a waste of my time. Oh may He change our thinking! Over and over again we are told to come to Him in prayer, in fact, in 1 Thessalonians 5:17, we are told to "prayer without ceasing."


We might agree that spending time in God's Word is productive because it's how He changes our hearts and minds, convicts us of sin, and grows us in our affections for Him, but what about prayer? While we should never reduce our spiritual life to the categories of what's productive and what's not productive, we do need to embrace the truth that prayer is one of the most productive things you can do in a day.

We serve an all-powerful, all-knowing Lord who asks us to come to Him with our needs and requests (Ephesians 6:18; James 5:13; Romans 12:12; Matthew 6:9-13, 7:11). The truth is, our prayer life or lack there of reveals what we really think about God and ourselves. When we come to the Lord in prayer and ask for His help to do what only He can do, we are acknowledging our weakness and His Power, Goodness, and Sovereignty. He's not some genie to give us our hearts desires, but a "Good Father" who knows how to give good gifts and do something better than what we've asked of Him. He can do what we cannot. Do you have the power to save souls? Do you have the power to change the heart of a brother or sister that is caught in sin? Do you have the strength in and of yourself to get through this hard situation or troubling time? No, but He does! In prayer we are surrendering our inability and choosing to lean on His ability. Like little children, we are to be dependent upon Him (Matthew 18:4). 


Add prayer to your to-list today. Schedule and set aside some time to pray. Pray for the spiritual and physical needs for yourself and those in your life. Maybe even read through Jesus' instruction on prayer in Matthew 6:5-15.