When you need a time out

Do you feel you need a time out? As though you’re in a fast-paced game and there’s no break in sight for a rest? For direction? For clarity?
I have too, but I’ve found great strength through one single practice: prayer.
And ever since I started prayerwalking 22 years ago, I’ve been studying prayer.
 
Most of those years I’ve read through the Bible in a year, and when I saw a reference to prayer, I marked the verse(s) with a circled P in the margin.
 
I find it interesting that you don’t see the disciples praying until after Jesus’s resurrection. Then we learn that they “all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers” (Acts 1:14 NIV).
 
Praying together is good for us as believers.
 
– It unifies us. We seek God’s will together when we pray. We hear one another’s heart–our deepest desires and concerns. We see from this single verse that not only are the disciples together in the upper room, but also the women and Jesus’s mother Mary and even Jesus’s brothers are there as well. His brothers did not believe in him; in fact, they had been embarrassed by him and wanted him to quit teaching publicly and healing others. But there they are now with the disciples, praying, waiting. believing.
 
– It draws us closer to God. Just as long conversations with friends and family draw you closer together, the same is true with prayer. You lay out your heart, and you listen for his direction.
 
– It gives us direction for our day. The disciples were waiting for God’s next big move–the coming of the Holy Spirit. Then they would be empowered to speak and testify with a boldness they’d never known before. And God would send them here and there to other nations, other people.
 
– It humbles us. We say, “I don’t know what to do. I don’t have all the answers. I need you.” That posture on a daily basis lends great perspective and makes us better as his representatives here on earth to those who are seeking.
 
Prayer takes time–some minutes each day. But I’ve learned it’s cost efficient. If I stop and pray, new insight comes and the rest of my day is more productive and effective.
 
So, I encourage you to keep #LookingUp !
 
Janet McHenry is a speaker and author of 24 books–six on prayer, including the bestselling PrayerWalk and her newest, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus. Her books are available at https://www.janetmchenry.com/lookingup/specials.
 
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