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Minutes and Hours

September 1, 2008

“Ingredients for a great prayer time: Bible (new Life Application NLT Bible with fun Damask cover), Beth Moore Bible study, pens, iPod with Matt Redman worship music playing, prayer notebook, and Starbucks Cinnamon Dolce Latte (venti).”

-Jess, this morning

Ah. Time alone with Jesus. “As much time as you need,” Hugh said as I headed off to the Prayer Room.

I may never go home.

It feels so good to finally have a long, uninterrupted time with the Lord. My first week of teaching was completely wonderful and completely exhausting – I prayed short, desperate prayers all week. No lingering for me. After seven years, I had to get to work.

By Wednesday, I hit a wall at school. I grabbed my friend Joy during lunch and asked if we could talk in my classroom. As soon as we sat at the small tables, I burst into tears.

“I, uh, I’m really stressed.” I said. “I don’t know how to balance all the stuff in my life – the teaching, my kids, Hugh…it’s horrible.”

“Have you been able to get up to pray in the mornings?” she asked. “I remember you talked about how important that was to you.”

“No!” I wailed, crying harder. “Like, not at all. I miss being with God so much, Joy. My life – and my time with God – looks so different than I thought it would. When I stayed at home, I was able to be flexible with my schedule. I could pray for one or two hours if I wanted – to work around naptimes, whatever. But, now….No. I am having these brief little prayer times – it’s awful.”

I cried for a while longer as Joy listened. And after I calmed down, she told me something that changed the rest of my week. She encouraged me to have brief times with God in the morning before work- and then purpose to get up early and spend a really long time in prayer on Saturday. “You’ll just look forward to that day, Jess.” She said. “And, during the week, you’ll know that it’s on the way.”

I could feel my tension slipping away as we talked. She was right. Completely. This is a new phase for me, and I am going to have to adjust my expectations in a big way. If I am expecting to still be able to pray daily for a long time, I will get discouraged and disappointed when it doesn’t happen. Then I will be less likely to try again the next day. However, if I can understand what is reasonable for me right now and plan accordingly – I can joyfully enter my time with God, knowing that He will meet me in the minutes I give Him during the week, and in the hours I give Him on the weekend.

As I prayed this morning, my time was so sweet as I lingered over different Psalms and told God everything in my heart. As I finished, though, I realized something. Yes, it was great to have this longer time – but I felt Him just as much during my hurried, harried week as I did this morning.

God filled me with His Presence both times regardless of what I was able to bring Him.

He took my five minutes on Tuesday and He filled me.

He took my two hours on Saturday and He filled me.

Oh! My Lord is faithful to me because of who He is – not because of anything I do or don’t do. He just wants me to turn to Him at some point during the day and whisper, “Lord, I am here. And I love you.”

And He’s so glad I came – regardless of how long I stay.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Alicia permalink
    September 2, 2008 3:00 pm

    Thank you so much for this post, Jess! I sure needed to hear it.

  2. Helka permalink
    September 3, 2008 8:33 am

    I’ve found your blog yesterday and I love it! Thank you for writing. Greetings from Poland! Helka

  3. September 3, 2008 12:34 pm

    Have you ever read A Shepherd’s Look at Psalm 23 by Phillip Keller? It is amazing! He looks at Psalm 23 from his view as an actual shepherd. One fact that amazed me to find out about sheep is that they can survive for months on end without drinking from a major water source like a lake or a stream. They can survive off of the heavy dew on the grass early in the mornings! Isn’t that awesome? God showed you by filling you on Saturday in your long prayer time (stream time) and by filling you during your shorter weekday prayer time (dew time) that He can still satisfy you….it’s just about being sure you are going to Him! You are right…He is SOOOOO good!!!

    Blessings to you, friend, as you drink deep of the Father who loves you so!!!! (I joked with some of my friends that they need to be sure they “do the dew”. hee hee. My husband is a big Mountain Dew drinker. I just couldn’t help myself.) 🙂

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