Friday, June 19, 2009

Three in the afternoon

Today’s Reading: Acts 3:1 (NIV)

1 One day Peter and John were going up to the temple at the time of prayer – at three in the afternoon.

Good morning!

Mid afternoon is not the easiest time of my day. By three in the afternoon, I’m usually experiencing a blood sugar low. Sometimes, after sitting at my desk for hours on end, I begin to feel really sleepy. This is usually the time of day I will get up and move around, find a healthy snack to munch on, and do some filing. I generally don’t fall asleep when I’m standing up and often, I just need to stand up to keep from falling asleep! Are there certain times of the day that are harder for you to stay fully focused and awake?

It is ironic that God tends to whisper into my heart when it is not personally convenient. He likes to wake me up around 4am each morning. I hear Him speaking in the stillness of the night, and often, I get up to listen and write whenever He calls my name. His perfect timing over my life may not always seem perfect to me. Yet, I choose to honor and worship Him whenever He calls my name. Can you hear the Lord calling your name right now?

Devout Jews observe three times of prayer each day, at 9am, 3pm and at sunset. Often, they will stop whatever they are doing and find a place to pray, and, if possible, they will return to their sanctuaries to do so. Do you pray to the Lord regularly at certain times each day? Have you felt drawn to prayer in moments of extreme fatigue? What is God trying to teach us about our relationship with Him? Are you willing to serve and wait on the Lord even if He is not penciled in on your calendar?

For me, faith in Christ is not some spiritual mantra to be pulled off the dusty shelf and used in moments of deep trouble or despair. Jesus is not someone I can suddenly summon when I have an urgent need. Relationships are born in the most inconvenient of times. Real love requires a daily commitment. His love is readily accessible at all hours of the day or night. And if I truly love Jesus, then I will be ready to listen and respond to Him no matter where I am or what I am doing. It is not just a simple sign of respect or some moral obligation; Serving Christ is not about perpetuating a habit or a some time honored tradition handed through the generations. Drawing near to the Father in prayer through Christ is a holy privilege, totally undeserved yet freely given to all who believe. When Jesus whispers your name at 3pm, will you hear His voice? Will you recognize God’s living breath filling your lungs with brand new life every time you inhale?

It is no coincidence that Luke, the writer of Acts, includes the specific time of day in his recording of the disciples’ prayer. Every day is a precious gift from God. Every hour, each moment can be a God moment that He can and will use to reveal His plan and purpose for your life. Are you willing to listen and obey? When you start to feel that sugar low kicking in this afternoon, let it become an internal reminder to pray. Be prepared to hear and receive what the Lord would say to you today at three in the afternoon.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding

Faith UMC - St. Charles, MO


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