Take Time for God

Psalm 55:17
Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.

Psalm 119:97
O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

It is very important that we make time in our busy days to talk with God and spend time in His Word.  Consider the prophet Daniel who made it a habit to pray and give thanks to God three times a day.  Even when that practice became a violation of civil law (and Daniel was a government official) he still valued this time to the point that he was willing to be "cast into a den of lions" rather than give up his time for God.

Daniel 6:10
Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.

Especially at times of trouble throughout the day it is important that we remember God and turn to Him for help and refreshing.  Just as the typical work day is broken up with regular breaks, our day can be enriched by making time for God throughout the day.

Rev. Wolfgang Schneider has a great study online called  Take a Timeout for God in which he likens such regular visits with our heavenly Father to the time-outs taken in professional sports.  A strategic time-out can often determine the outcome of the game.

In the Morning
Early in the morning before the business of the day begins is a great time to visit with your heavenly father, make your requests known, give thanks and praise for His wonderful works, and spend time in His matchless Word.   Jesus Christ knew the importance of starting his day with God.

Mark 1:35
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he [Jesus] went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Psalm 5:3
My voice shalt thou hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto thee, and will look up.

Psalm 59:16
But I will sing of thy power; yea, I will sing aloud of thy mercy in the morning: for thou hast been my defence and refuge in the day of my trouble.

Psalm 88:13
But unto thee have I cried, O Lord; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent [come before] thee.

Psalm 119:147
I prevented [got up before] the dawning of the morning, and cried: I hoped in thy word.

At Noon and Throughout the Day
Acts 10:9b
. . . Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour [noon]:

There are five hours of prayer referred to in the Bible, roughly corresponding to our 6 A.M., 9 A.M., 12 Noon, 3 P.M., and 6 P.M.  These regular prayer times are still adhered to in some eastern countries, such as India, today.  Peter went up onto the housetop to pray at noon.  Housetops in the Bible lands and times were flat roofed and people would go up onto the housetop to pray in order to be closer to God.

The apostles were seated praying in the temple on the day of Pentecost when holy spirit was first given at about the third hour of the day - an hour of prayer.

Luke 24:53
And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.
Acts 2:1
And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.
Acts 2:15b
. . . it is but the third hour [9 A.M.] of the day.

The regular break times throughout the day in the Bible lands were designated as hours of prayer.  The only real break from the world that matters is one in which God is glorified, praised, asked for help, etc.  Why not make your regular breaks - time for God.  What a difference it can make to your life and your work.  It is a real practical application of Colossians 3:23 "And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;"

Acts 3:1
Now Peter and John went up together into the temple at the hour of prayer, being the ninth hour [3 P.M.].

Throughout the day believers visited the temple in Jerusalem at the hours of prayer.  Peter and John were especially blessed on this day as they ministered healing to a man over 40 years old who had been lame since birth.  The power and love of God is well worth our time.

In the Evening
Matthew 14:23
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come he was alone.

At the end of a busy day, just as at the beginning of the day, Jesus Christ took time to get away from the multitudes and spend time alone with his heavenly father.  When a particularly difficult and important decision was required (such as choosing and ordaining 12 apostles) he spent the entire night with God.

Luke 6:12
And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Certainly spending time with God and His Word in the evening can make for a great end to a busy day.

Psalm 63:6
When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches.

Psalm 119:148
Mine eyes prevent [precede] the night watches, that I might meditate in thy word.

You cannot know God without knowing His Word; just as you cannot know me without speaking to me and hearing my words.  Spending time with God means prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and ALSO spending time reading, working, and thinking about His written Word day and night.

Joshua 1:8
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.

Psalm 1:1-2
Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.
But his delight is in the law of the Lord; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

You are a blessed man or woman when you delight in the word of God day and night.  How are you going to avoid walking in the counsel of the ungodly, standing in the way of sinners, or sitting in the seat of the scornful, but by taking time for God throughout the day.  In some of our jobs we spend a lot of time with the ungodly, sinners, and the scornful.  Why not take time for God and His Word.  God guarantees you will be blessed.  In fact, God commands us in His Word to pray regularly.  Must be important, so take time for God!

Romans 12:12  . . . continuing instant in prayer;
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, . . .
Colossians 4:2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
I Thessalonians 5:17 Pray without ceasing.

April, 1998
URL http://www.cortright.org/godtime.htm
Michael Cortright