Jesus gave Himself for us and His desire is that we give ourselves completely to Him. So our time should belong to Him. This doesn’t necessarily mean that we should leave what we want to do behind, but it means that we need to give priority to Him and to live every moment in His presence. However, in the daily rush, we’ll sometimes have difficulty separating out a time for prayer and the reading of the Word. If you’ve been facing these kinds of problems, here are some principles that might help. Know that the Lord Himself is the one who is going to take you to live closer and closer to God.

The daily fellowship with God renews us, keeps us from falling into temptation and gives us strength and wisdom to continue with our daily activities. He awaits our presence. God’s desire is that we may be in fellowship with Him, and with this purpose in mind He did all His work on Earth.

However, there are many factors which stop us from having a daily intimate moment with the Lord. The first of them is time. We could argue that times have changed and that it’s difficult to have free time nowadays. It’s true that, I mean, the world is full of information and activities, but

God did not give in to our rush, not even adopted the methods of our mechanical age. The man who would truly know God must give time to Him

A. W. Tozer

Yes, God’s things do not conform to the things of this age. It’s us who should conform to God’s things.

We have an interesting example in the Bible: Daniel. He had an influential and demanding position within the kingdom of Babylon; which meant he was a busy man. Yet he separated time to pray three times a day (Dan. 6:10) and at one point, the Babylonian king said that Daniel served God continually (Dan. 6:16). So, where there is interest, there is time.

Trying to leave this moment for later in the day might not work out. When the end of the day hits, you can realize that there wasn’t time for a moment of fellowship with the Lord. So now you’re too tired to do anything. So, the best way might be …

… To go to Him as soon as you wake up.

The morning is the gate of the day, and should be well guarded with prayer. It is one end of the thread on which the day’s actions are strung, and should be well knotted with devotion. If we felt more the majesty of life, we should be more careful of its mornings. He who rushes from his bed to his business and waiteth not to worship, is as foolish as though he had not put on his clothes, or cleansed his face, and as unwise as though he dashed into battle without arms or armor. Be it ours to bathe in the softly-flowing river of communion with God, before the heat of the wilderness and the burden of the way begin to oppress us.

Charles Spurgeon.

Many can testify: if we start our days with a moment of fellowship with the Lord, our activities during the day get easier to be done. This also gives us more confidence against the traps of the enemy during the day.

According to my judgement the most important point to be attended to is this: above all things see to it that your souls are happy in the Lord.

George Müller.

The fellowship with God is what makes us truly happy and it must be the most important activity in our day. George Muller, a brother who lived in the 18th century and who, through prayer, did extraordinary things (its worth reading a bit of his history). If something happens and you can’t go to the Lord’s presence early in the morning, do it as soon as possible afterwards.

An important practice is to call upon the name of the Lord, as soon as one gets up and during the day. But, sometimes we may have …

.. Difficulties to call upon His name

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth” (Psalms 145:18). For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved” (Rom. 10:13). 

The Bible has many verses speaking about us calling upon Him. To call upon the Lord’s name also saves us from the difficulties in our lives, saves us from the enemy and saves us from ourselves. Don’t doubt, is the Word of God that says so. We must believe more in the Word than in our feelings. If you believe in these words, the simple fact of calling “O, Lord Jesus!” will lead you to experience the wonderful presence of the Lord! In fact, to call upon is an excellent way to start a prayer. Even so, someone could say…

… “I can’t pray!”

There are many factors that get in our way when praying. But to get past those we have to be one thing. Above all, be honest with God and yourself. David was very honest in his prayers in the his psalms. Tell the Lord that you can’t pray and that you need help to see and eliminate any other roadblocks. Ask Him to show if you have committed any sin and, having shown them, confess them, for our sins make separation between us and God. Doing this gives us a freedom that we didn’t have with sin.

Beyond being honest, an important principle that the Lord taught us was to pray in secret, away from others’ eyes:

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you” (Matt. 6:6)

This verse, outlines that God reveals Himself to us when if we take a moment to move away from the many distractions of the world and seek the intimacy of being alone with God! But, even so, it may be that when you try to pray you feel troubled, cold hearted, and even unworthy to go to Him. However,

Do not be thinking of how little you have to bring God, but of how much He wants to give you. Just place yourself before, and look up into, His face; think of His love, His wonderful, tender, pitying love. Just tell Him how sinful and cold and dark all is: it is the Father’s loving heart will give light and warmth to yours. O do what Jesus says: Just shut the door, and pray to thy Father, which is in secret. Is it not wonderful? to be able to go alone with God, the infinite God. And then to look up and say: My Father!”

Andrew Murray – With Christ in the School of Prayer

The main function of prayer is to listen to God, not to speak to Him. Before all, open your heart! God always has something new of Himself to reveal to us.

And He also reveals Himself through His word. That’s why, prayer and reading of the Bible must be together: reading a verse helps to start a prayer, as praying helps to start a scripture reading! Perhaps a scripture reading of a devotional, such as the Daily Food. This helps us to deal with those situations in which we can say:

“I don’t know what to pray for!”

You don’t have something to pray for? Then open the Bible, there you will find a subject to talk about with God (Book: The Potter’s House). Try to pray on some verses. To pray on the Word is a valuable practice!

For the rest,

Pray for prayer—pray till you can pray; pray to be helped to pray, and give not up praying because thou canst not pray, for it is when thou thinkest thou canst not pray that thou art most praying; and sometimes when thou hast no sort of comfort in thy supplications, it is then that thy heart all broken and cast down is really wrestling and truly prevailing with the Most High.

Charles Spurgeon.

Remember: depend on the Lord, confess your inability. He goes to those who know their weaknesses and humble themselves before Him (2 Chr. 7:14; 2 Cor. 12:10).

In the beginning prayer can seem something forced, but keep praying until it becomes spontaneous. It’s like re-acquainting yourself with an old friend or cleaning out a dirty pipe. As the water flows through the channel, it removes obstacles and eventually flows freely.

To conclude, we always need to remember that, in our Christian lives, we need to have perseverance. In many passages of the Bible, God tells us we need to persevere. It’s He who gives us strength and wisdom in order to persevere. It doesn’t matter the difficulties that we come across with, we will keep looking to Him!

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith” Heb. 12:1-2a

Translation of the article Separar tempo para a comunhão com Deus (Blog Eu vos escrevi). Español.