Prayer is more about being close to our Heavenly Father than it is about effecting change in our earthly circumstances. After all, Jesus did teach us to pray saying, ‘Our FATHER who is in Heaven’…
Farm life for me was fun, but filled with countless hours of hard work. It took considerable effort to find time to be a family while caring for hundreds of animals, managing the planting/harvesting schedules of multiple fields on multiple farms, and repairing fences and implements for peak performance. But of all the competing priorities, one commitment meant more to me than any other.
During the warmer months of April-November in southern Illinois, at the end of each day, weather permitting, dad and mom would come outside after supper into the side yard on the west side of our house where we had a porch swing hanging from a catalpa tree limb. They would gently sway back and forth on the swing while the rest of us kids would happily listen to them chat while we would mess around with ant hills, worm mounds and various other exciting ‘boy type’ of stuff.
Those down times were wonderful. Not withstanding all the work that was yet to be prioritized, scheduled and accomplished, not withstanding all the pressures related to tilling, fertilizing and planting a field and not withstanding the begging bleats of sheep/goats, grunts of pigs, cackle of chickens and bawling of perpetually hungry calves; we would all enjoy the ‘down time’ spent being close to dad in the evening.
It was then that I learned there was a proper place to rest even though many tasks remained unchallenged and undone. It was then that I learned some things mattered more than getting everything done. It was then that I learned being close to dad was a much richer experience than being able to say that all tasks were completed. There I learned that there was a time to work and that there was a time to rest, especially if that rest came at the feet of my dad and mom.
Similarly, if you are harried and hurried in life, it may be that one of your most sacred gifts would be the gift of ‘time spent at Jesus’ feet’.
As one hymn writer penned:
‘There is a place of comfort sweet, near to the heart of God; a place where we our Savior meet, near to the heart of God, O Jesus blest Redeemer, sent from the heart of God, hold us who wait before Thee, near to the heart of God’.
If your prayer life has become a bit routine, perhaps taking time today to simply enjoy being close to your Heavenly Father will bring about a fresh new-ness to your time in prayer. Remember: He is our FATHER in Heaven.