A tool like none other?

My friend, may I ask you a question? Is, perhaps, prayer not only the bended knee, but also the bended life; a life lived in full submission to God in works, words and thoughts?

My friend, life’s a story, welcome to This Passing Day. I’m Mark Brunner.

Do you pray day and night? In fact, do you know of anyone who does? I struggle with this personally, always feeling that perhaps the most precious faith tool God offers me is the one I’ve hung up neatly in life’s garden shed and forgotten unless I go rummaging around looking for some other solution to my problem and find it once again hanging there less used than it should be, but always the best choice if I simply remember it. I did come across an example of consistent prayer, however, from a man who used this precious tool so fervently that it gives me hope I still have time to perfect both my memory and my ability to use this most precious of tools. George Washington. As president his custom was to rise with the sun, then spend the next two hours in prayer in his study; the time spent on his knees. No interruptions were allowed. Urgent business had to wait until the President was finished praying. Washington worked late hours but always finished his day with one hour of prayer prior to bedtime as well. It’s been estimated by some that this God-fearing man spent over 30,000 hours in prayer during his lifetime. But praying day and night? No, not even Washington was inclined to pray day and night; or, was he?

Perhaps prayer is not only the bended knee but also the bended life; a life lived in full submission to God in works, words and thoughts. I think that this was Washington’s secret. He pledged his days to God and was reminded of this every day when he entered into prayer as both a habit and a longing.

Here’s a thought from the reformer, Martin Luther: “The third commandment not only forbids us from using God’s name in an empty and meaningless way – it also requires us to praise the holy name of God and call upon it all our needs. Prayer is just as clearly and solemnly commanded as having no other gods, not murdering or stealing, and we need to have a greater sense of that than we do. Luther wrote, ‘From fact that prayer is so urgently commanded, we ought to conclude that we should by no means despise our prayers, but rather prize them highly.’ Even more strongly, Luther declared, ‘He who does not pray should know that he is no Christian and does not belong in the kingdom of God.’” (Sermon on “Luke 2 [33-40]” {1522} LW 52, 139-140)

Prayer ought never to be relegated to the moment, yet the moment ought always be open to prayer. Each of us ought to stop frequently as we walk the back roads of life, and reflect on God’s mercy. Then, with eyes uplifted to heaven and a sweet smile upon our lips, send God our lives–our prayerful best. This means going into life’s garden shed and taking down that tool, that trusty tool unlike any other, and putting it to good use daily. As we live our lives and enjoy God’s blessings–as we laugh, cry and are sometimes filled with sorrow, let us serve the Lord with gladness offering our lives as a fragrant prayer, a testimony to Godly living in Christ. Praying day and night? Heaven is open 24/7. I believe that is what drove a man like George Washington to avail himself of prayer so consistently. Prayer was never an inconvenience or afterthought to Washington. It was a pragmatic use of a tool like none other that beckoned him to use it often. Stop into heaven today; open the door to God’s house with the tool he has given you and I to use: faithful prayer. A life fully bent in submission to God’s grace never has a reason for not stopping in when there’s always an open door, 24-7.

We pray. Heavenly Father, teach us to pray often and with a fervency. There is so much good that we can do through prayer, for ourselves and for others. Forgive us when we neglect this most precious and effective of tools, a tool that is always there, just waiting for us to use. May our lives Lord be lived prayerfully, on our knees in the way we live, work and play. In Jesus name we pray. Amen

Therefore my friend, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry for itself; each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:34) This Passing Day. May this passing day honor our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and be a blessing to you and everyone you meet. Find a stranger and say hello. Don't let another day pass without your day blessing someone else.

If you have a special prayer request, please send your request to "This Passing Day!" <markcbrunner@thispassingday.com>

God bless you for Jesus sake.

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