Thursday, February 25, 2010

First Things First - Part 1

I have been pondering my prayer life lately. It is difficult as a mom of toddlers to spend significant, consistent time in prayer. And I have found, since our move to Scotland, that my current routine is not sufficient for the new challenges and stresses in my life.

I recently ran across a section on morning prayer in George Mueller's autobiography and was encouraged and inspired. About ten years into his ministry, God challenged him in his morning prayer routine. Mueller writes at length about "the immense spiritual profit and refreshment" he received because of it.

This post is the first post in a three part series on "the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day, to have my soul happy in the Lord."
The difference between my former practice and my present one is this. Formerly, when I rose, I began to pray as soon as possible, and generally spent all my time till breakfast in prayer, or almost all the time. At all events, I almost invariably began with prayer.... But what was the result? I often spent a quarter of an hour, or half an hour, or even an hour on my knees, before being conscious to myself of having derived comfort, encouragement, humbling of soul, etc.; and often after having suffered much from wandering of mind for the first ten minutes, or a quarter of an hour, or even half an hour, I only then began really to pray.

I scarcely ever suffer now in this way. For my heart being nourished by the truth, being brought into experimental fellowship with God, I speak to my Father, and to my Friend (vile though I am, and unworthy of it!) about the things that He has brought before me in His precious Word.
Do you ever suffer, as Mueller did, with a wandering mind as you come to prayer? Or do you often find that, even significantly into your prayer time, you have yet to receive the strength, encouragement, comfort, or humbling of heart that we desire in our fellowship with God?

Come back soon for part two of this series to find out more about the "new" practice God taught Mueller that made such a powerful impact on his life. Mueller goes on to say,
I affectionately and solemnly beseech all my fellow-believers to ponder this matter. By the blessing of God I ascribe to this mode the help and strength which I have had from God to pass in peace through deeper trials in various ways than I had ever had before; and after having now above forty years tried this way, I can most fully, in the fear of God, commend it. How different when the soul is refreshed and made happy early in the morning, from what it is when, without spiritual preparation, the service, the trials and the temptations of the day come upon us.
All quotes are from George Mueller's  autobiography.
All bold formatting was added by me for emphasis. The italics are original to Mueller's autobiography.

1 comment:

  1. Hey- good words. I don't think it's selfish in that Jesus did the same thing. It's just hard to put spiritual things first while a mommy. I think it takes discipline to get up b/f the kids or at least give the Lord the first fruits of down time. (looking for lightning as I type)
    I appreciate your deep thoughts, as usual.


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