Did you know that the can opener was not invented until 1870, nearly a full century after canned food? And that the doorknob did not come into common usage until 1878, though doors have been around for centuries? So how did people get into their foods they had locked safely away in cans? (Remember, no electricity either!). And why did it take so long for someone to come up with the idea of how to open doors?
Now it can be argued here that one item inspired the other. Of course. But it is also an illustration of how we can get really important things out of order. Like prayer. How can we begin a project, a day, out of order in such a drastic way? To begin our day, our trip, our meal, our decision-making without prayer is like… having a can with no opener!
Jesus kept the priority of prayer in front of His disciples both by the things He taught them and by what He modeled. He would sometimes rise early in the day, before any of them were even thinking about being awake, to seek the Father in prayer. And He would take them away for a retreat for a few hours or a few days and go “to a solitary place” to set the priority of prayer in place.
I doubt the disciples ever did anything else without first asking, at least within themselves, “has this been adequately prayed about?” To start an important project or to face a significant decision without praying was like… having a great door but not having a handle to open it! I see praying as tithing our time. While we may not give ten percent of our time to prayer, we honor God by giving Him the ‘firstfruits’ of our day, of our season, of our decision-making.
The priority of seeking God first in prayer is a biblical one. While it isn’t wrong to pray DURING or AFTER an issue or a storm, it is better to set things in place from the beginning by giving it to God BEFORE it becomes a reality. If we say we want to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, how much better is it that we prove it through how we use our time… and pray.
And then, let’s see how easy that door opens!
FOR MEDITATION: O God, Thou art my God; early will I seek Thee…. Psalm 63:1
FOR REFLECTION: Our heart’s desire is paid for by our investment of time. What we spend our time doing is a reflection of what our heart really wants. If you want more than anything to seek God and know Him greater, then the price tag for such seeking is time. What are the true priorities of your life if your watch and calendar are an indication of the truth?