Last week I talked about prayer, and I would like to continue in that vein today.
I have to tell this story of my dad. He recently had to go to the hospital for a few days. He lives just outside of Atlanta, and my sister lives nearby, so he calls her first. It was 1:30 in the morning, and he was struggling to breathe.
Pam told him she was coming immediately, but it would take her at least 30 minutes to get ready and get to him, and then another 20 minutes to get to the emergency room. She encouraged him to call 911.
Dad’s response to her was, “Well, I really hate to bother them.”
You should have heard her telling the story. She reminded him that they do get paid, and this was the kind of thing they did, and that it probably would not be a bother to them. And then she exclaimed, “Call 911!”
I may not have told you, but my sister is a lot like her mother. Dad called for help.
Don’t we sometimes treat God the same way? Actually, I often see people do this in other ways. A couple calls their pastor for counseling, but not until they have lawyers. Someone asks for assistance in paying a bill, but now the power has been disconnected.
We do not ask for help until the situation is desperate. And we do the same thing in prayer. We wait until the things are completely out of control before we decide to pray.
Again, last week I quoted just two verses. Jesus said, “Men ought always to pray,” and Paul wrote, “Pray without ceasing.”
These two statements remind us that prayer is not something to do on occasion, but should be a constant part of the Christian life. Jesus also said that the church (it was actually the temple at the time) should be a house of prayer for all people.
I pray that we will learn to pray. There is nothing more important than we can do. Prayer is not a last resort. It is an essential part of the Christian life.