Not a Waste of Time

R. A. Torrey

R. A. Torrey

This excerpt is from “How To Pray” by R. A. Torrey (an exceptionally helpful booklet), and illustrates the fact that when life became busiest, that is when Jesus withdrew himself to pray. We tend to do just the opposite – life gets hectic, and we put more energy into doing the things we think need to get done, thinking that by our over-exertion we’ll accomplish something more than if we set aside an hour to pray about our situation.

Jesus Christ gave a special time to prayer when life was unusually busy. He would withdraw at such a time from the multitudes that thronged about Him, and go into the wilderness and pray. For example, we read in Luke 5:15,16, “But so much the more went abroad the report concerning Him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed of their infirmities. But He withdrew Himself in the deserts and prayed.” (R.V.)

Some men are so busy that they find no time for prayer. Apparently the busier Christ’s life was, the more He prayed. Sometimes He had no time to eat (Mark 3:20), sometimes He had no time for needed rest and sleep (Mark 6:31,33,46), but He always took time to pray; and the more the work crowded the more He prayed.

Many a mighty man of God has learned this secret from Christ, and when the work has crowded more than usual they have set an unusual amount of time apart for prayer. Other men of God, once mighty, have lost their power because they did not learn this secret, and allowed increasing work to crowd out prayer.

Years ago it was the writer’s privilege, with other theological students, to ask questions of one of the most useful Christian men of the day. The writer was led to ask, “Will you tell us something of your prayer life?” The man was silent a moment, and then, turning his eyes earnestly upon me, replied: “Well, I must admit that I have been so crowded with work of late that I have not given the time I should to prayer.”

Is it any wonder that that man lost power, and the great work that he was doing was curtailed in a very marked degree? Let us never forget that the more the work presses on us, the more time must we spend in prayer.”

Thanks for reading.

-Tracy
The Colorado Springs Photographer

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