Don't tell me you don't have time to pray. You have time to watch television. You have time to watch videos. You have time to surf the Internet by the hours. You have time for little league baseball. You have time for tinkering in the garage. You have time to bake cookies and cakes and enormously fattening things that you don't need to eat. You have time to fish and hunt and haul a travel trailer all over the country.
You do most certainly have time to pray. You have twenty-four hours a day. If you don't have time to pray because you are going to the gym three times a week, then quit going to the gym. I'm serious. You don't have your priorities right. On the other hand, if you really put prayer in its right priority, you will probably still have time to go to the gym. Just don't use the gym as a reason not to pray. If you don't set that priority, God may have to mess with your gym thing to get your attention. I'm not kidding.
You have to PLAN to pray every single day of your life. You have to get it in your head. You have to burn those circuits into your brain that the day is not going to end without your praying.
I know that some of you are probably squirming right now, and may be thinking about throwing this book against the wall, but don't do it! Stay with me, and I am going to show you exactly how you CAN pray every single day. It is not going to kill you. It's not even going to hurt you. Consistent prayer is going to revolutionize your life, because you are going to enter into a dimension of relationship with God that is going to take you to an entirely new level of effectiveness as a Christian.
I pray every day. On the rare occasion that I do miss a day, I try to double up on my prayers the following day. That's not being facetious or silly. It is a pact I have made with myself. I have certain demands that I make of myself in prayer, and that is one of the requirements. I refuse to let myself off the hook.
By the end of the day, if I did not pray like I should have prayed, then I demand an extra effort of myself the next day. That is effective, because knowing that I will need to double up later really does help to motivate me not to miss a day. I do NOT want to get behind on my prayers. The people I am praying for need those prayers. Of all the people I pray for every day, probably at least one-third of them have NO ONE ELSE praying for them. For many people on my list, if I stop praying for them, they will have NO INTERCESSOR on earth! When I think about that, I just cannot let that happen.
I don't want anybody I know to go to Hell -- not even my worst enemy. If you ever take the time to really contemplate what it will be like to spend eternity in Hell, you will NEVER again use the word "Hell" lightly. Hell is a damnable place. God didn't even make it for men and women. He made Hell for the devil and his angels. The fact that men and women will be sentenced to Hell is the greatest tragedy in all of creation.
Do you want your loved ones to go to Hell? Of course not! Then you'd better get started praying for them, because if you don't, a lot of the people who are near and dear to you are going to plunge head-long into Hell. I don't mean that in a tongue-in-cheek manner, either. Which one of your loved ones are you going to be OK with if they die and go to Hell?
Is it more important to you to be entertained by a television three or four hours every night, than to ask God to save the people you love from an eternal damnation in Hell?
Are you one of the people who complain day and night about the pathetic state of affairs in our nation and in our society? Are you sick of the moral depravity and the tragic absence of godly values among the younger people in our society? Then YOU are the person who needs to take it upon yourself to pray for God to CHANGE the state our world is in.
Read the ninth chapter of Ezekiel, about the six men God sent to judge backslidden Jerusalem. The word of the Lord told one of them who had an inkhorn at his side to "Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the abominations that be done in the midst thereof."
God wanted to set apart the few people who mourned over the abominations being committed in their society. After the godly people were marked, God told the men to slay those who did not have the mark. So the people who DID NOT CARE about the abomination of their city were judged. God instructed them to be slain.
Transpose that into our present day. What if God looked on you and me and said to an angel, "Set a mark on them that sigh and cry for the abominations." Would you get a mark? Do you sigh and cry for the people of your city? Do you sigh and cry for your family, your loved ones?
I believe that God looks favorably upon people who carry the burden of intercession for a people. If you want to shine in the eyes of God, then take up the burden of the Lord. Start caring about the things that God cares about, and stop caring so much about trivial things in life.
Eternity is going to be so incredibly long. I know that sounds redundant, but I don't think people give it enough thought nowadays.
I'm still talking about "no time to pray." You DO have time to pray; you just have to admit it. Admit it right now. "I DO HAVE TIME TO PRAY," and "I WILL PRAY!"