Guest Blogger – Lucy Ditchburn inspired by the writings of Nicky Gumbel

Prayer is the most important activity in your life. It is the main way in which you develop a relationship with your Father in heaven. If you love someone, naturally you will want to spend time in their presence communicating with them. Like any relationship, communication can take many different forms.

Lancelot Andrewes (1555–1626), was one of the great theologians and preachers of his day. After he died, his private notebook on prayer was discovered and published. In it he had written two lists:

First, he wrote a list of times of prayer in the Bible:

‘Always…
Without ceasing…
At all times…
Three times a day…
Evening, and morning, and at noon…
Seven times a day…
In the morning, a great while before day…
At daybreak…
The third hour of the day…
About the sixth hour…
The hour of prayer, the ninth…
The evening…
By night…
At midnight…’

Next, he wrote a list of places of prayer in the Bible:

‘In the assembly… and in the congregation…
Your closet…
An upper room…
A housetop…
The temple…
On the shore…
A garden…
On their beds…
A desert place…
In every place…’

There is no limit to the times, places and different ways in which you can pray.

Prayer is two-way communication. Prayer involves listening to God as well as speaking to him. The main way in which we hear God today is through his word. Jesus is the Word of God (John 1:1) and the Bible is all about him. As you study the Bible, pray that God will speak to you through it.

This will give you ‘hope’ (Psalm 119:49) in the midst of all the difficulties of life: ‘These words held me up in bad times; yes, your promises rejuvenate me’ (v.50, MSG). You will find comfort in God’s words to you (v.52).

You do not need to confine your prayers to daytime. ‘In the night I remember your name, O Lord’ (v.55a): this is one of the best ways to use times of wakefulness in the night. It may even be a way to cure insomnia!

So, as we move forward we need to be a praying people remembering the words from Philippians 4:6.

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 

 

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