Pray for… One Hour?

Joseph Esposito

I recently built my first rifle with the help of a friend. Since then, I’ve built five more! I enjoy the process. It’s a fun challenge, and I enjoy learning a little more with each one. The other night, I sat down to build a lower receiver that I told my wife should be “fairly quick.” I started at 9:00 PM, just after getting the children in bed. By the time I looked up at the clock, it was 11:00. How did two hours fly by so quickly?

A young single man shared a similar story: “During my college days, one night I drove a group of students home. The first person I dropped off was a delightful nursing student. I told the others in the car that I would walk her to her door and be right back. When I returned to the car, the rest of the passengers exasperatedly informed me that I had been gone for more than an hour! I was shocked, because it seemed to me that I had been gone for only a few minutes.”

Matthew 26:40-41 And he cometh unto the disciples, and findeth them asleep, and saith unto Peter, What, could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.

In the passage we read above, Jesus had asked His men to watch and pray. But we know the story. When He returned to check on them, He found them asleep. He then asked, “Could ye not watch with me one hour?” As I think of the illustrations above, and the passage before them, I wonder if the Lord ever feels the same about us.

Why is it that we can blow an hour (or more) on a movie, a basketball game, a conversation with someone we enjoy talking to, a hobby, or a toy, and think nothing of it, but many times find it difficult to spend more than fifteen minutes in prayer? There are two reasons I believe this may be:

Psalm 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

The first is delight. We get lost in time doing things we delight in. If we learn to delight in the Lord’s presence as we do in these other things, we may find that we’ve lost track of time in it. There are great promises for those who delight in the Lord, in His Word, and in time with Him. Do you delight in your time with the Lord today?

Luke 11:2-4 And he said unto them, When ye pray, say…

Second, is division. Some may have a desire to pray for longer, but not sure how to do so at length. When the disciples asked Christ how to pray, He gave them a formula, a division, if you would, for their time in prayer. We’ve all heard of the A-C-T-S acrostic (Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication). If we want to pray longer, we can take different topics, and spend a portion of time on each one. If we took 12 important topics (praise, confession, thanksgiving, supplication for family, church, a need, personal requests, children, God’s will, or a host of others), and prayed for them for five minutes each - that’s an hour!

Admittedly, I don’t pray for an hour very often. I set about fifty minutes to one hour aside for my devotions (prayer and Bible) each day. However, when I have a day off, or some extra time, I enjoy taking a walk by the reserve, and spending extra time in prayer.

We easily spend an hour or more on many things that we enjoy doing, often. Why not look for an opportunity to spend some extra time in prayer? I challenge you to give it a shot. You may find yourself looking for more opportunities to do so. Let’s delight ourselves in the Lord by spending time with Him.

Joseph Esposito

Bro Esposito serves as the vice president of our Bible college, teaches the Cross Point Adult Bible Class, and heads up our children and teen Sunday school ministry. He and his wife Jennifer have five wonderful children.

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