Joshua 1:8 “This law scroll must not leave your lips! You must memorize it day and night so you can carefully obey all that is written in it. then you will prosper and be successful. (NET Bible)
George Mueller lived an adulthood dedicated to the preeminent priority of prayer. His dedication to this necessary discipline enabled him to pastor, evangelize, and care for orphans in a way that showed the world a God who answers his children. And the secret to Mueller’s prayer life was his “devotion and delight in God’s Word” (79).
In my early adult years, I found myself often crying out to God in prayer. I wanted to know his will with certainty. Should I go to this school? Should I marry this man? Should we buy this house? How even should I pray? Did I have the right questions? The right focus? I prayed and prayed for answers and certainty, but failed to find them. Eventually I realized this principle that Thrasher mentions in our current chapter: praying from Scripture. So I prayed, “Lord, show me in Scripture your answer to my concerns.” Then, opening my Bible to passages that I thought might apply, I expected God’s answer to leap off the page. It did not.
What had I missed about this praying-from-Scripture principle? Over time, my ears began to hear the full message of Joshua 1:8–9 and Psalm 1: 2–3: “meditate on it day and night.” If I avoid regularly reading, studying, and contemplating God’s word, I will lack his words and his will on my tongue when I cry out. I will lack wise fingers to find the right pages among many. I will lack his answers when I need them.
I know this, and still when the schedule spills over with activity, I let the busyness crowd my time in Scripture. I notice my prayers growing shallower. I hear God’s answers as if through ear plugs in my heart. I lower the shades on his glory.
I think George Mueller had it right: one hour of prayer and four hours of work beats five hours of work. I look forward to Thrasher’s next chapters on how to make the steady “practice of meditation a reality” (81).
The Christmas season, ironically, often becomes a season when we tune out God due to our busyness. May these days leading up to the holy-day find us in the Word and on our knees.