Many times I have thought about sunrises and sunsets, full moons, rainbows, shooting stars and flashes of lightning. What if those were phenomena that were reserved for only once in my lifetime? What if there was only one day in my life when the sky would be on fire with hues of red, orange, yellow, purple and blue as that beautiful ball of fire slowly disappeared behind the horizon? I would be there. I mean I would have that date marked in red on my calendar, I would have phone alarms set and I would be out in some vast meadow with people I love, just waiting for those golden moments when the sun was sinking.
But the sun sets every day. Every sunset is just an everyday sunset. Oh, it is no less magnificent, demands no less power and commands no less praise. It’s still breathtaking IF I take the time to really drink it in, but, because it will happen again tomorrow, I don’t take the time to notice. I don’t drink in the majesty and, sadly, I hardly ever praise my God for the setting of the sun that is just doing his bidding as the earth travels around it.
Isn’t it that way with prayer? What if I could only talk to my God during one day of my sojourn on this earth? I would be intentional about that day. I would spend the years prior deciding, listing, outlining and preparing for the things I wanted to say. What if I could only pray once a year? I’d be thinking all during the other 364 days about exactly what I wanted to say and I’d be sure to praise and petition and thank and cry out to the God of the universe on that day. What if I knew that I could only pray at one specified time during each week? I hope that I would look forward to that hour of prayer with more anticipation than any other event, possible excepting worship. But the beauty of prayer is that it gives me access to the throne at any moment of any day.
That is the beauty of prayer, but the unlimited access is also probably the factor that makes me take it for granted. Academically, I know it is a precious privilege. I understand the price that was paid for the intercession of Jesus in prayer. But because I can do it later…I can do it anytime…I’m somehow not as motivated. Sad.
Maybe that’s also the way it is with expressing my affection to Glenn, my husband. I can save that sweet conversation until just the right moment because I will have a million moments with him yet. The truth is, there will only be a limited number of sunsets, a limited number of opportunities to express gratitude or affection to my husband and a limited number of opportunities to bow in prayer. If I can somehow internalize the finite aspect of prayer along with the unlimited aspect—the unlimited lifetime “calling plan” for calling on the God of the universe—perhaps I will count prayer as the extremely precious commodity that it is.
Studying Moses helps me do that. I’ve been truly taken with the prayer life of this leader. His life was a conversation with God. What I love about his relationship with the Father is that he just talked to him…at all times. He didn’t “save up” his petitions or praise for some future “time” of prayer. He asked when he wondered (Numbers 27:5), praised when he witnessed deliverance (Exodus 15) and mourned to God when he saw sin (Exodus 34:8,9). At least largely because of this daily dependence on God, he was characterized as the meekest man in all the earth.
I hope you will join us this Thursday night at 7 CST at http://new.livestream.com/whcoc/for-women for a discussion of the prayers of Moses. It is a rich study.