«But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers» (1 Peter 4:7).
ONE COLD WINTER MORNING in the beautiful Guatemala City, a pastor asked the members present to raise their hands if they prayed for at least thirty consecutive minutes every morning. The silence was immediate. Not a single hand rose. Apparently, no one devoted time to morning prayer; or, at best, people prayed a quick prayer before leaving the house. Let us say that it was a routine formal and repetitive, but not something to connect them in solitude, soul to soul, to the Lord. But the results of one kind of prayer are very different from the other. I think we all know this from our own experience.
Prayer is a beautiful ritual practiced in private, which connects us with the almighty heavenly Father. It is a mental experience that gives us spiritual strength and helps us to organize our thoughts and to pause from the fast pace that we live our lives. When we have the right concept of what it is to pray, half an hour every day does not seem like much time, but rather too little time.
Are you familiar with the hymn «Sweet Hour of Prayer»? It is one of my favorites. The lyrics are as follows:
«Sweet hour of prayer! sweet hour of prayer!
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne
Make all my wants and wishes known.
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief, And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer!
Its author, William Batchelder Bradbury (1816—1868), was a musician who knew how to express his feelings to God in a poetic and musical way. That gift that the Lord gave him continues to’ bless us today, making us reflect on the meaning of prayer to God every morning. Praying is a way of separating from everything that drags us into the world to elevate ourselves to the presence of the heavenly Father, in whom we find help to resist temptation, and who provides us with all the blessings we enjoy in this life. It is certainly difficult to find something sweeter than prayer.
Dear friend, never forget that prayer is the source of strength for the Christian woman. From it derives the power of Christ; from it derives ours as well. That is why God tells us through the Holy Scriptures: «Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know» (Jeremiah 33:3)