message of note


Chris Bowater

Getting up early or staying up late, when is the best time to pray? Christian leader Chris Bowater gives his thoughts

All of the great men of God who I read about had what they called their ‘meeting place’ with God. For some s a chair, for others it’s a room and for others it’s a place out in the countryside, in the movie Amazing Grace, William Wilberforce sits under a tree where he talks to God.

If you were going to see the Queen of England you would make an appointment – you wouldn’t just turn up and knock on the door. Though we have confidence to come with access to the presence of God, I don’t believe we should ever turn that to irreverence and we should always me to God with great respect and fear. There’s enough in the Bible to tell us to end a day with God, and there’s enough the Bible to tell us to end a day with God, so the question is, when is the best ne to pray?

And the key is to not be legalistic. I don’t have to be legalistic about meeting my wife -I want to meet with her as often as I can. I fully believe that God isn’t going to hold a hammer over your head looking at his watch saying, “Oh no, you missed it again.” I’m a big believer that God just loves it when we take the time and the space to meet with him heart to heart, whether it’s morning, noon or night. It’s not just a discipline case but it’s a desire case. Discipline without desire is only half a story.

There are times when I go without much sleep because I will wake up at 4.30am when everything is still and it will become a meeting place with God. It’s so important to find the quiet place in the midst of the noise.

There’s so much diversity with God. I also believe in praying continually. If we are praying continually then time doesn’t come into it. I drive my car and find myself communing with God. There’s very rarely a moment when God thoughts are not in my heart.

Research showed in America and Great Britain that Christian ministers prayed on average for four minutes a day. If that’s what the ministers are doing then how much less are the people praying? We don’t pray. I hear stories of people like

Smith Wigglesworth and John Wesley who, when they faced major challenges on a particular busy day, would ensure they prayed more. We would say that we hadn’t time and would make excuses.

Prayer isn’t storming around a room and shouting your head off. I’ve discov¬ered that shouting at the devil doesn’t impress him and shouting at God doesn’t impress him either. God reads hearts. He doesn’t listen to voices necessarily. It’s the heart that is drawing near to him. He says if you draw near to him he will draw near to you. He wants us to be proactive in the relationship but he puts the desire there in the first place. Even our response to prayer is not our idea but God’s idea.

Prayer is so crucial. I miss meeting with the Lord if my busyness crowds into my life. But I also sense that God says, “I miss being with you.” It’s a friendship thing, a lover thing. It’s an incredible, wondrous thing of meeting with sovereignty. Meeting with a friend. It’s meeting with a Saviour yet it’s meeting with a lover.



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