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Knee Work! Knee Work! (09.29.05--Teach Me to Pray!--Luke 6:17-19)

When it comes to some things in life, I’m pretty dedicated. Take mornings for instance. I am dedicated to my morning time to such an extant that even when I’ve had a difficult night with little sleep, when 4:45 comes around, I’m up and at ‘em. Whereas there are some things in life about which I don’t apply this much discipline–like watching my diet, keeping a clean desk or doing periodic maintenance on cars and equipment, getting up in the morning and greeting the new day has never been one of them.

I have often thought that if I could put half as much effort into evening time as I put into morning time I would accomplish so much more. If I could just attain that same level of dedication in all things that I have accomplished in getting out of bed, what an accomplishment life could be. Take prayer, for example. Imagine what life could be like if each one of us put even half the discipline and effort into our prayer life as we do with other things with which we are more easily dedicated. Imagine the great things we could attain if we were truly disciplined to “pray without ceasing.”

James Duncan, preaching with great unction and power, was asked what was the secret of such powerful preaching. “The secret,” he said, was “thirteen hours of consecutive prayer.” When asked the secret of his spiritual power, Charles Spurgeon said: “Knee work! Knee work!” . . . Of “Uncle” John Vassar, The Tract Society colporteur, his pastor says: “He absolutely prayed day and night -- prayed about everything, prayed for almost everything, prayed with almost everybody he met. He prayed when he went out and when he came in. He prayed before every religious service, and then prayed all the way through it. I have occupied the same room with him night after night, and rarely went to sleep without hearing him in prayer, or awoke without finding him in prayer.” (Christ Life Newsletter.)

Sometimes we tend to look at prayer as something magical. We see God as that kindly Wizard who is waiting up in the sky to grant our wishes. As our occasional prayer message ascends, it is heard and “shazam”, instant divine intervention happens. God didn’t give us prayer as a power that we can choose to exercise every now and then on a whim. God gave us prayer as a tool, a tool to be exercised with consistency and dedication; a tool we carry with us at all times. When we pray we aren’t trying to get God to do tricks. We are simply abiding His command that we pray continuously. The secret to being successful in prayer is to take it out of the realm of occasion and integrate it into the very fabric of our day. Linking our days and nights together in prayer is the secret to a fulfilling prayer life. That and a whole lot of knee work!

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