An Unhurried Life – Part 3: Prayer

Two weeks ago, I started a series entitled, An Unhurried Life, this week, we will conclude the series.  Initially, I stated my goal was to help us focus on slowing down and the things that mean the most to us.  Here is a statement to consider,

A Hurried Life causes me to work when I should be resting, and it causes me to rest when I should be working; a hurried life makes me unbalanced.

How do we, as followers of Jesus Christ, stay balanced?  We have discussed two ways that followers of Jesus Christ can stay balanced: prioritizing rest and seeking Jesus.  Today, we will look at the last component, prayer.  Some time ago, I asked some people, “How would you describe your devotional life?” Many of those I asked said they would describe their devotional life as sporadic.  Sporadic is “occurring at irregular intervals or only in a few places; scattered or isolated.” Today, I want to spend my time making a case for why we should have a personal devotional/quiet time and not only that, but to provide you with practical tips for starting a personal devotional.

For the column today, I want to go back to Mark 6, and we will look at verse forty-six.  In Mark 6:46, we see that An Unhurried Life is a life that urgently seeks God through prayer.

And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.

Here is a thought, Jesus prayed, and He prayed a lot.  He prayed when he was weary; Mark 1:35 details that.  Why did Jesus pray a lot?  Because, in my opinion, prayer is the timeless secret of high-impact leaders! Jesus was a high-impact leader who got the right things done the right way.

Jesus had an urgency to seek God in prayer.  Where is your urgency to seek God in prayer?  I think we all have it, but we have been overloaded to the point that we cannot put one more thing on our schedule.  We are a marginless, bufferless people.  If our schedules are packed to the point that we cannot carve time out for the Lord, we must reevaluate our schedules.[1]  Mark 6:46 makes the point to me that we all need time alone with God.  A relationship will not grow and deepen if we do not nurture it.  A consistent quiet time/devotional time is the perfect way to nurture your relationship with the Lord.  When I say quiet time/devotional time, what do I mean?  Simply, a time alone with God where you focus on God.  Here are some elements to consider as you think through having a quiet time/devotional time.

  • Element #1 – A quiet place, preferably the same place.
  • Element #2 – A set time for each day; repetition builds routine.
  • Element #3 – A set amount of time. The amount of time should be enough time to pray, read, to meditate on what was read, and pray about anything else.  Now hear my heart; I am not trying to put God in a box; I am just giving guidelines to get you started.
  • Element #4 – A plan. You need a plan for what you will be reading and maybe a prayer journal to keep up with your prayers.  A reading plan and a prayer journal help you be more disciplined in your time allotted to God.

I close with a verse of scripture that I often come to when life’s busyness is overwhelming.

“Come to me, all of you who are tired and are carrying heavy loads.  I will give you rest.  Become my servants and learn from me.  I am gentle and free of pride.  You will find rest for your souls.  Serving me is easy, and my load is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Readers Version)

Dr. Draper Rogers is a pastor with Gardendale First Baptist Church and a contributor to North Jefferson Magazine.