A TIIME TO PRAY

A TIME TO PRAY Andy Hollifield 7-8-18
It seems like I have been going in a whirlwind it seems like for over a month. You have all been there and had those times when it seems like you have to repair everything you own or you are just waiting on the next thing to break and you don’t usually have to wait very long. I am thankful that God has given me a little bit of ability to fix stuff and enough sense to get on You Tube and watch a video when I am clueless about what I am doing.
I am not writing to complain because I love it when God has given me stuff to do in the ministry and we have had plenty in between working on vehicles. However, today I had the privilege to visit a friend at the house he is building and see how God has blessed him. I have kind of been a vent for him over about the last three years while he has been trying to find property and get everything done and he is almost there. What a blessing it was to just get to drive and see some of the beauty that God has given us in nature and not have to hurry and get done to keep from running late for something else. Thanks to some parts for a vehicle not making it on time, I got that precious time just to do nothing except marvel at God’s handiwork.
There is an old saying about taking time to stop and smell the roses that comes to mind. Sometimes we just get too busy that we don’t listen when God is trying to talk to us. I want everyone to know that I have a sanctified tractor. I prayed over that thing more in the past week then I probably have since I have owned it. It was by that experience working on that tractor that God slowed me down and showed me the need to pray about everything and even the things that seem small and trivial. I made a comment to my wife Wednesday that I was going to request prayer at church for my tractor. She thought that was silly but if I had of done that, I might have got to my day of rest a lot sooner.
I began to think about a few folks in the bible that didn’t take the time to pray and could have saved themselves a lot of grief if they had of. I could talk about Moses, when in his frustration and anger he smote the rock instead of speaking to it as God had commanded. Had he prayed more he might have gotten to lead the Israelites into the promised land. Then there is David who, if he had of prayed before sending his army into battle and not going with them as duty required, just think of how different his life would have been if he hadn’t have been on the housetop that day. Samson would have likely never have married Delilah if he had taken the godly counsel of his parents. His death came because of his failure to pray before marrying her and also before telling her the secret of his strength.
Elijah is another one that comes to mind. Have you ever noticed that he prayed on Mt. Carmel before the fire fell and he prayed six more times before the rains came. But after he outran the horse down the mountain he didn’t pray again until after he was with Elisha. He never prayed about Jezebel’s threat before he went on the run. He also never prayed when he got to Beersheba and left his servant there. He didn’t pray until he got under the Juniper tree and asked God to let him die. If you notice, he was so preoccupied with his own fear that he never once asked the Lord for his will to be done. He didn’t pray after God sent the angel to feed him either time. There isn’t any record of him praying over the next forty days and nights till he got to Mt. Horeb. The next time we hear him speak is when the Lord calls him out of the cave and asks him why he is there. Then he pours his heart out to the Lord again in a complaint. By chapter 21 he is apparently back in good spiritual condition because God begins giving him prophecies again.
I thought about Jonah also. He would have never have had to be in the fishes belly if he had prayed rather than trying to flee from God’s presence. It might seem on the surface that all’s well that ends well because 120,000 in Nineveh repented. Think back a little bit to the midway point of his journey though. Had he prayed instead of fleeing, those sailors wouldn’t have had to cast all the wares into the sea. They suffered loss because of his failure to pray and be obedient.
There is one other one I want to mention. I have often thought about Elimelech, the husband of Naomi in the book of Ruth. In chapter one and verse one of Ruth, you find that the famine started and he went to sojourn in Moab. He would have likely been better off to pray. It wound up that he died and his sons. Think about the heartbreak that could have been avoided if he had only prayed. Three wives, including his wife, may not have been widows. I know that in his case as well as the other ones I mentioned, nothing happened that God didn’t allow. I also know that if he had of prayed, God could have worked his will however he saw fit.
Now back to me and the bad example that I set for everyone. If I had of prayed more before I started work on the tractor, I probably wouldn’t have had to pray so much and wouldn’t have gotten near so frustrated while I was doing it. Too often I do like Elijah and the others and decide my own course of action without praying about it. I have a habit of pointing fingers at those folks but fail to see the same actions in my life. Sometimes like with my tractor, it only affects me. At times, not praying before I refuse God’s will like Jonah, I wind up bitter at the Lord when my troubles are my fault to begin with. Other times, my failure to pray hurts others around me just like it did with all of these people I mentioned. Even Elijah’s servant lost his job when he got left behind in Beersheba. It is always a good idea to take time to pray before and during doing something. If it is big enough to occupy your mind, it is big enough to take to the Lord. I hope this helps you. Take time to pray. Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!

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