My daughters (left to right) Sarah, Katie, and Emily, with me at dinner during our weekend
Have you ever had to fight for a good purpose? My daughters and I experienced that very thing recently. We had to fight . . . to be together.
Once each year, we plan a “Girls Weekend.” We usually rent a hotel room and go shopping at Crabtree Mall in Raleigh. We go out to eat, watch movies, and spend lots of time talking and giggling late into the night. It’s a special time to connect and commit to one another as family.
However, with all of our busy lives, personal commitments, and work schedules, it can be challenging at times to get together. This year presented some unique challenges in that regard. My two younger daughters Emily and Sarah are nurses. They work long 12-hour shifts at area medical centers. My oldest daughter Katie is a 6th grade Science teacher. This year, the school system scheduled the end-of-grade tests on the first day of our Girls Weekend. We worked to change the days and location of our get-together so we could still have it. We went to Charlotte instead so Katie could drive back and forth to help administer the tests.
I was grateful that everyone fought to make the weekend work. We made many treasured memories together.
In the same way, we often must battle in order to spend time with the Lord. Commitments and demands of this world can steal precious time with Him. I am talking about time spent alone with Him in prayer.
In Matthew 6:6, NASB, it says, “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
This scripture reminds us of the need to establish a time, place, and priority of prayer, because prayer is a special time to connect and commit to our relationship with Jesus.
Before our Girls Weekend, my daughters and I had to consult our calendars over and over until we could find a workable date for our get-together. Some readjustments were made to our personal schedules. When Katie heard about the EOGs, we had to revisit our schedules again. We were determined to spend time with one another.
Likewise, we each have to choose a time to spend with the Lord in reading His Word and praying. Life has a way of “stealing” our time if we don’t. Having a routine time for reading the Bible and praying helps ensure that we do those things.
Matthew 6:6 says, “But you, when you pray . . .” Just as my daughters and I set a time to meet, we all should set a time to meet with the Lord each day. The commitment to meet with one another helps us to do so. Of course, other things can come up, and that’s where we need to be flexible. I heard a Christian speaker once say that she actually schedules a meeting with Lord on her calendar each day, depending on her schedule. That way, she makes sure she sets time aside for Him.
My daughters and I chose a specific place to meet and stay for our weekend. We were together in the same location.
It helps to choose a place to meet with the Lord as well. “But you, when you pray, go into your inner room . . .,” says Matthew 6:6. Jesus was speaking about a place of prayer, a place to meet with the Father. Setting our hearts to meet with the Lord in a specific time and location helps to make that special communion possible, and it eventually becomes a habit of the heart.
Sometimes, the place must change due to life’s circumstances. I recently moved into the kitchen for this special daily time because we have a new puppy, which stays gated in there and likes to have people around him to feel secure.
I treasured my time with my daughters. In this special atmosphere of the weekend, we were able to open our hearts to one another and share events happening in each of our lives. We encouraged, advised, strengthened, and loved on one another, while having lots of fun. I thank God for that precious time together. We each went away from the weekend knowing that our relationships with one another were a priority.
“But you, when you pray, go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father who is in secret . . .,” says Matthew 6:6. When we “close our door” to the world for a while, we prove that our relationship with the Lord is a priority. We choose to enter the secret place of His presence (Psalm 31:20). It makes His heart glad when we choose to meet with Him, and He promises: “and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). He blesses us with Himself, and we receive His encouragement, wisdom, strength, and love.
Sure, we can talk with the Lord any time, and His presence is always with us, but we experience unique blessings when we prioritize and set aside moments to seek and hear from Him.
Making memories with one another in time, place, and priority only made me and my daughters more eager for our next get-together. Fight to keep meeting regularly with the Lord . . . I bet you will feel the same!
Question: How have you fought to stay connected with the Lord? What have you put in place to help ensure the time, place, and priority of prayer? Comment at the link below.
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