Luke 18:1 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart.
This theme of always praying is woven throughout the fabric of the Scriptures. The idea may be one of simple ongoing – unbroken communion with God. But given the various calls to prayer and its many examples, the idea seems more to be one of an unbroken pattern of prayer. In other words, it is not that one can train the mind to always be in direct communion with God (though many have indeed made such a case – and for some may even be possible) but more of retreating to prayer as a part of the normal course of everyday life: habitually. So it is while we assume Jesus Himself to be the master of unbroken communion, still takes time to separate Himself and to be “in prayer” as a separate and distinct activity. Certainly we cannot do better than He. So all of our attempts at making prayer a mere matter of if-and-when are probably not as in tune with the Scriptural call as we might like to think. I know, someone will recall that none less than the august Spurgeon (truly one of my personal heroes) had no set time of daily prayer. It may be so. But it is also recorded that he often stopped where he was – even in public places and would pray. He was given to resorting to distinct prayer all the time, not simply living in the “spirit” of it – as some are wont to put it. In any event, what I am hoping to press here is simply that you and I most likely are not as Spurgeonic as we might like to think – and for the sake of our fleshly weakness, would do well to cultivate such times as a part of our regular schedule. “Legalist” one will charge. I don’t think so. Your doctor telling you that you DO have to breathe if you want to live isn’t being legalistic – but realistic. That is all I’m after. Recognizing that we are a people who need to regularly and as a course of life – retreat to the throne of grace to access the bounty of mercy and grace and goodness He treasures up for us there. The lifting of anxiety for instance is not to be found in simply coming to Him when things get extra heavy – but daily casting our cares upon Him, in the sweet atmosphere of being with the One who cares for us even more than we can and do care for ourselves. Pray always. It is in fact the single best way NOT to lose heart. Drink in deeply at this fountain, and you’ll have plenty to meet the demands of living in this sin-wracked world. Pray.