Time To Pray

November 13, 2005
by James T. Hurd

Psalm 46:10 – Be still, and know that I am God. (NIV)

A sudden and unexpected power outage can be a shock and a source of frustration to those working in offices where telephone, e-mail, fax, and printing capabilities are all dependent on electrical power.

Yet such an event can be a blessing, too, if the only alternative is to turn to God, amid the darkened silence, and to pray.

I have been reminded of this on two occasions recently. In the first one, someone "holding the fort" in the office a couple of weeks ago called early in the morning to say that power was lost and problems were legion. The hope was expressed that I might manage to do something to try to get the day's agenda back on track. When I appeared in the office half an hour later, having done nothing, the cheerful greeting was, "All is well! I prayed, and within ten minutes, power was restored and all the machines that had been malfunctioning are now working just fine!"

The second occasion transpired yesterday afternoon, when a gusty windstorm suddenly knocked out power to several blocks in the neighbourhood of our church. I had been using my laptop on battery power, and so that much of my work was undisturbed, and I finished the sentence and the letter I was writing. I was also, however, in the midst of a telephone conversation with another leader in the congregation, lamenting that I had been unable to have a quiet and uninterrupted hour to pray about and think through a particular matter of mutual concern. The power interruption cut us off in mid-sentence, since our office telephone system is controlled by an electrically-powered computerised system. When we finally re-connected, we agreed that we needed to meet — to talk, yes — but first and foremost to take time to pray. In the meanwhile, before we re-connected, realising that printing, e-mailing, and telephoning were tasks that I would be unable to do, at least not from the venue of my office, my first inclination was to leave the office and go elsewhere — to a location where power was available. Yet before I did so, I was strongly convicted that perhaps this was time God was giving for prayer.

All too often in this world of perpetual motion, we lack a lively sense of the presence of God. The psalmist is right: "Be still!" — and then we shall know. May God grant us a renewed quiet, and a renewed knowledge and experience of His presence.

Prayer: Lord, teach us to be still, to sense Your presence, and to perceive Your listening ear, waiting for our voices to talk with You. In Jesus' name, we ask. Amen.

About the author:

James T. Hurd <jthurd@sympatico.ca>

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada


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