Thursday, April 4, 2013
Christians who neglect prayer have perverted their priorities. Many believers pledge to pray if and when they can find the time. Yet each week, seeking Christ becomes less important to them than washing the car, cleaning the house, visiting friends, eating out, going shopping, watching sports events. They simply don't make time to pray.
People were no different in the days of Noah and Lot. Their top priorities were eating and drinking, buying and selling, marrying, and caring for their families. They had no time to listen to messages of God's coming judgment. And so no one was prepared when judgment fell!
Evidently, nothing has changed over the centuries. For many Christians today, God remains at the bottom of the priority list; at the top are income, security, pleasure, family.
Beloved, the Lord does not want your leftovers—those little bits and pieces of time when you have only a moment to toss up a quick prayer request. That isn't a sacrifice of prayer.
The prophet Malachi writes: "If ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? saith the Lord of hosts" (Malachi 1:8).
Malachi is saying, "You're bringing just any old farm animals to sacrifice in God's presence—careless, thoughtless, secondhand gifts. Try giving those kinds of offerings to your governor and see what happens!"
God expected His people to go through their flocks carefully, examining every animal, and choosing the most perfect specimen for sacrifice to Him. Likewise today, God expects the same from us. He wants our quality time—unrushed. And we are to make that time a priority!
I once met with the pastor of one of America's largest churches. This man was one of the busiest ministers I had ever seen. He told me without apology, "I have no time to pray." Yet, what he really meant was, "I don't give any priority to prayer." When I visited his church, I sensed no moving of God's Spirit in the congregation. In fact, it was one of the deadest churches I had ever preached in. How could there be any life if the pastor didn't pray?
No Christian will set aside time to pray unless it becomes his first priority in life—above family, career, leisure time, everything. Otherwise, his sacrifice is perverted!