WISDOM FOR LIVING DEVOTIONAL
OCTOBER 24, 2020
TOPIC: ARE YOU TOO BUSY TO PRAY?
BY T. O. BANSO
“But while I was busy doing something else, the prisoner disappeared!” (1 Kings 20:40 New Living Translation).
Spend quality time in personal prayer. Don’t let a busy schedule crowd out prayer from your life. Avoid a situation where your work schedule will make you become prayerless. Don’t wait until you’re in trouble before you turn to God in prayer for deliverance. Don’t wait until the arm of flesh is failing you before you run to God for strength.
“No one will succeed by strength alone” (1 Samuel 2:9 New Living Translation). A similar truth is stated in Psalm 33:16-17: “No king is saved by the multitude of an army; a mighty man is not delivered by great strength. A horse is a vain hope for safety; neither shall it deliver any by its great strength” (New King James Version).
1 Kings 20:40 says, “But while I was busy doing something else, the prisoner disappeared!” (New Living Translation). He should have given priority to the prisoner he was assigned to guard. What other thing was more important than that having been told that he either died or paid a fine of seventy-five pounds of silver if the prisoner escaped? Don’t get too busy doing something else at the expense of prayers. Don’t lose what you’re supposed to be watching over in prayer.
Your work or business can never be a substitute for prayer. Work but also pray. Your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour (1 Peter 5:8). The less you pray, the more you are prone to falling into temptations. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus taught His disciples to pray that they would not yield to temptation but that God would deliver them from the evil one (Matthew 6:13).
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus said, “Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will overpower you. For though the spirit is willing enough, the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:41 New Living Translation). The devil likes prayerless Christians. He doesn’t mind if we talk about prayer or about praying, but he doesn’t want us to pray. He will rather have you complain than pray. Someone said, “If Christians spent as much time praying as they do grumbling, they would soon have nothing to grumble about.”
Are you too busy to pray? Don’t get carried away by whatever you’re doing for the LORD or God is using you to do in His Kingdom. The devil isn’t too bothered by that. He is a very patient being; he can afford to wait as long as it will take him to make you fall into temptation – he is not in a hurry at all. He will keep looking for an opportune time to strike.
1 Corinthians 10:12-13 says, “Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (New King James Version).
Are you too busy to pray? The less you pray, the more anxious you become. Pray, don’t be anxious. Anxiety will drain you spiritually. Philippians 4:6-7 counsels, “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (New King James Version).
According to 1 Peter 5:7, you should cast all your care upon God, for He cares for you. Seek the Lord’s strength in prayer; don’t run out of energy by feeling self-sufficient. “Seek the LORD and His strength; seek His face evermore!” (1 Chronicles16:11 New King James Version).
There are those who used to pray but are now discouraged because of delayed answers or some negative occurrences in spite of previous prayers. Many are battle-weary and are confused. They’ve prayed but nothing seems to be working. I beg you by the mercies of the LORD not to give up. Return to the place of prayer. In Luke 18, Jesus spoke a parable that men always ought to pray and not to lose heart. 1 Thessalonians 5:17 says to keep on praying or pray without ceasing. Never stop praying.
Don’t be too busy to pray for yourself, your family, others, and your country. In Isaiah 62:1, Prophet Isaiah says, “Because I love Zion, because my heart yearns for Jerusalem, I cannot remain silent. I will not stop praying for her until her righteousness shines like the dawn, and her salvation blazes like a burning torch” (New Living Translation).
Prophet Samuel, in his farewell address, told the Israelites that he would certainly not sin against the LORD by ending his prayers for them (1 Samuel 12:23a). Paul said he did not cease to pray for the Colossians (Colossians 1:9). No matter what the situation looks like, never stop praying for your country. In fact, if Christians see a picture that looks worse than they’ve been praying for, that’s the time to come together and intensify prayer.
Don’t be too busy to pray alone and with fellow believers. Prayer is good work. And Galatians 6:9 says we should not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Please pray, and never stop praying for yourself, your family, others, and your country.
If you are not born again, you need to give your life to Jesus now. I urge you to take the following steps: *Admit you are a sinner and you cannot save yourself and repent of your sins. *Confess Jesus as your Lord and Saviour. *Renounce your past way of life – your relationship with the devil and his works. *Invite Jesus into your life. *As a mark of seriousness to mature in the faith, start attending a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church. There they will teach you how to grow in the Kingdom of God.
Kindly say this prayer now: O Lord God, I come unto you today. I know I am a sinner and I cannot save myself. I believe that Jesus is the Son of God who died on the cross to save me and resurrected the third day. I repent of my sins and confess Jesus as my Lord and Saviour. I surrender my life to Jesus now and invite Him into my heart. By this prayer, I know I am saved. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me and making me a child of God.
I believe you have said this prayer from your heart. Congratulations! You will need to join a Bible-believing and Bible-teaching church in your area where they will teach you how to live your new life in Christ Jesus. I pray that you flourish like the palm tree and grow like the cedar of Lebanon. May you grow into Christ in all things and become all God wants you to be. I will be glad to hear from you. The LORD be with you.
PRAYER POINTS: Father, help me to manage my time well so as to have adequate time to pray for myself, my family, others, and my country. In the name of Jesus, a busy schedule shall not crowd out prayer from my life. I will pray and I will work; one won’t replace the other in my life in Jesus’ name.
(For over 300 in-depth and powerful messages by T.O. Banso, visit www.cedarministry.org).
T. O. Banso is the President, Cedar Ministry International, Abuja, Nigeria.
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