As I read the resurrection story, my heart often focuses on one incident that occurs before the crucifixion when Jesus and the disciples were in the garden of Gethsemane. He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” (Matthew 26:38) Jesus asked His best friends and coworkers to hang out, to connect, to pray and to be alert by watching with Him in His darkest hour.
God wants my attention, my devotion and my heart everyday; yet it is a constant struggle to wholeheartedly give Him my time.
In the scripture it says that a short while later Jesus came to the disciples and found them sleeping, and said to Peter, “What! Could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:40-41)
I hear the disappointment in Jesus’ voice as He spoke to His disciples.
It is my earnest desire to set aside one holy, sacred hour of time each day for me to spend time with Jesus. I sense a daily responsibility and urgency to pray, to watch and spend intimate time with Him; however, I too am distracted, not by sleep, but by the cares of this world.
Everyday I hop out of bed and tell myself that I want to do things God’s way. I heard many times throughout my life that God blesses those who put Him first.
My interruptions are different from the disciples’ challenges. The phone, the daily weather report, my dog, Facebook, emails, my children, my husband’s needs along with many other frustrations, all steal from my personal quiet time with Jesus.
When I finally sit down for an uninterrupted time alone to read the Word and pray, I discover that my heart has it’s own set of distractions. I daydream, lose my concentration and focus on other things such as my schedule for the day. I sometimes read from the Bible and don’t remember what I just read.
God speaks clearly to me,“Couldn’t you watch and pray for one hour?”
Watch means to keep alert. Listen. Pay attention to God’s agenda. Stop day-dreaming. Don’t get distracted.
Let me share some things that help me to make that hour work.
- First I establish a routine! I make a list of priority jobs, write down how long each job takes and set time limits to get them done. I schedule a specific time for each job and make it my priority to spend daily time with Jesus.
- I pray for God to order my prayer time! I also ask Him to speak through His Word.
- I try to postpone or reschedule open ended activities such as reading emails and watching the news until another time of day.
- Reading the Word to myself out loud helps me to remember more of what I read.
- Journaling or taking notes on what God is saying though the scripture makes my learning visual so that at a later time I can go back and review God’s words to me.
- I often use a prayer list or written prayers to help me to remember what to pray for. Written prayers or lists keep me focused.
Promise: “See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.” Ephesians 5:15 – 17
Partnering with God: Dear Lord, I know that spending one devoted hour with you a day is a reachable goal. Forgive me for allowing external distractions to keep me from spending time in prayer and in Your Word. Please take over my mind and help me to concentrate on You. Help me to watch and pray according to Your way.
Let me know your thoughts!
Partnering with God