December 22 Stated Times Matthew 6 "But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen." (v. 6)
In order to go deeper with God we must sit quietly in His presence, talk with Him, and let Him talk with us. Those who say they can develop their relationship with God without stated times of prayer and the reading of His Word are fooling themselves. Jesus (as we saw) is our best example. He knew God's presence better than anyone, yet He made time to get alone with Him and talk to Him in private prayer. To say that we can develop a rich relationship with God by recognizing we are always in His presence but without taking time to have a spiritual focus is as senseless as saying that we can live in a state of physical nourishment without having regular meals.
As I travel I often ask Christians I meet if they have a daily or regular quiet time, and sometimes the answers I receive astonish me. One man told me: "Yes, I get up early, sit quietly in my garden and watch the birds feeding or the goldfish swimming in the pond ... and I feel rejuvenated in my spirit and ready to start the day." The modern idea of a quiet time! The whole purpose of the quiet time is to take in the spiritual resources of God. Nature is wonderful and restorative, but for the intake of spiritual resources we need the blessing that comes from the Word of God and prayer. The quiet time is where the soul grows receptive, where prayer becomes powerful. In turn we gain the quiet heart, that becomes quiet confidence, and that becomes quiet power.
O Father, deepen the conviction within me that I cannot develop my relationship with You without taking the time to commune with You. Help me make my meeting times with You one of life's great priorities. In Jesus' Name. Amen.