I was up at five o’clock this morning. FIVE!! I am never up that early. Working 3PM-Midnight has my normal body clock on an entirely different schedule. Yet, wide-eyed awake at 5AM. So I got out of bed and figured I would maximize my time through prayer. I was going to engage in some serious time with the Lord.
It was a nice idea. I cannot believe how easily distracted I can get even when there is absolutely nothing going on! My time of prayer this morning was seriously weak. When my feet hit the floor my mind focused on exactly what I wanted to do, enter the throne room of heaven. Somehow, the moment I walked into the hallway and closed the bedroom door behind me, I stepped into the Twilight Zone. My brain ran in a hundred different directions. WHY IS THAT?
After all these years of walking with the Lord, there are still those times when spending time with Him is real work. Like the disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, there wasn’t a whole lot of real prayer going on. Of course, the disciples couldn’t stay awake to pray – they kept falling asleep. I, on the other hand, couldn’t sleep, but still didn’t really pray as I could/should have either. Jesus hit it right on the head, as He always does, when on that occasion in the garden He said, “…the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” (Mark 14:38b)
Willingness of spirit is obviously not the problem. I wanted to pray, but it just didn’t happen. I couldn’t pray because I let too much of the flesh in; weak flesh equals weak prayer. My mind took off, yet, honestly, I didn’t do much to reign it back in. When the flesh runs the show instead of the spirit, it will always turn out weak. So whose fault is it, really? Mine. I could have turned on some music and worshipped to force my mind to focus on something. Then there is the exercise of writing my prayer – that always brings a sharpness and clarity.
Live and learn. I don’t want my prayers to be weak. I want all my prayers to be the James 5:16b kind, “The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” Especially the five in the morning ones.
Copyright © 2012 John P. King
Verses from the NASB