I will never forget walking out to our garage to take out the trash and finding that every golf club our kids owned had been stolen, not to mention a visiting friend’s clubs too. It was a very, very strange feeling to know that someone, with evil intent, had VIOLATED our home and stolen something so precious to our family. It was several years ago in the summer and our kids were in the middle of their busy, competitive summer schedule with tournaments almost every week. On a warm summer Monday morning I walked out to find…………the unthinkable.
For most kids who compete at the level our kids were competing, replacing their clubs wasn’t easy. In fact, is was extremely challenging. They all had “fitted clubs” with special specifications to fit them individually. You can’t just go to a store and buy them. You have to have them specifically fitted with certain lofts, grips, weights, and lengths. Let’s not forget the cost involved! It was devastating for sure and took much time, intention, and effort to replace each and every club for all 4 kids. I couldn’t help but think about other people I had heard of who had been victims of theft but this was the first time our family had experienced the “pain and devastation” of robbery. You just don’t know what you don’t know until you live it!!!!
I have now lived another robbery!!! The theft of my “prayer life!” It happened in my late 40’s. It left me empty and devastated just like the time of the stolen golf clubs!!!! The only difference is that the robbery was slow. I describe it like my friend described being robbed by a household employee. The employee would weekly take a silver spoon, knife or fork. It went unnoticed for months until one day when my friend was having a dinner party. She opened her silver drawer to pull out her sterling silver and found only a couple of spoons left. All the knives and forks were gone!! It happened over a period of weeks and months without arousing suspicion or detection. That is exactly what happened when I found myself robbed of my “prayer life”.
My robbery went slow and undetected for a while. The day of realization of the theft was a “wake up call”! Just like the day the golf clubs were stolen, I had to take action immediately!!!! The difference was, instead of calling the police, I dialed 911 to God. Yes, I went to the desolate place that was my quiet time chair and sat there for an hour. I sat there and prayed until I felt some kind of relief from the “shock of realization” of what had happened. The next thing I did was ask myself, “How did this happen? Who could have done this?” The answer came immediately. It was Me. The more detailed answer was me and my “BUSYNESS!”. A hectic lifestyle full of busyness had crept in daily and robbed me one “fork” at a time!!! My “sterling” prayer life was gone.
Have you been the “victim” of theft? Or are you the “thief?” I was both!!! Upon reflection in that prayer chair that January morning……I came to the conclusion I was in control of my time and had allowed busyness to take over my schedule and prayer life!!!! I took immediate action to REPLACE the “sterling!”
The following were the steps I took:
1. A strong DECISION TO REPLACE WHAT HAD BEEN STOLEN, NO MATTER WHAT THE COST.
2. TAKING SOME THINGS OFF MY PLATE THAT WERE UNNECESSARY.
3. SETTING MY ALARM AN HOUR EARLIER TO MAKE SURE PRAYER WAS THE PRIORITY OF THE DAY.
4. BUYING A BOOK ON PRAYER TO GIVE ME FRESH IDEAS ON HOW TO PRAY. (LEARNING FROM SOMEONE WHO HAD TAKEN THE PAINS TO WRITE A BOOK, TOLD ME THEY VALUED PRAYER!!) I WANTED TO BE TEACHABLE.
5. LIKE NIKE……JUST DO IT!!!
6. I READ SCRIPTURE ON PRAYER JUST TO RENEW MY CONVICTION ON THE IMPORTANCE OF PRAYER. LOOK AT THIS POWERFUL SCRIPTURE:
1 Chronicles 16:11, “Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always.”
Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything but in everything by prayer and petition with thanksgiving present your requests to God.”
Psalm 5:3, “In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice, in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”
Psalm 145:18, “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call in truth.”
Matthew 6:5, “But when you pray go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen. Then your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
Colossians 4:2, “Devote yourselves to prayer being watchful and thankful.”
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
James 5:13-16, “Is anyone among you suffering? let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise. Is anyone of you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. THE PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS PERSON HAS GREAT POWER AS IT IS WORKING.”
Of course, I love to ask and receive the prayers of others. But we all have access to Almighty God. Prayer is the “BEST NUTRITION” for a HEALTHY life! It is more valuable than anything God has provided on this earth. It costs us nothing but stillness, focus and time. Do not rob yourself of the TREASURE THAT IS MEANT TO BE YOURS. Everyone has a treasure chest of GOLD AND SILVER through a disciplined prayer life. Open it today and grow RICH!