Are you an old tree or a young sap?
I read a quote in my Bible study this week that I really like. It’s by A.J. Gordon – “You can do more than pray after you have prayed, but you can never do more than pray until you have prayed.”
I have written about prayer many times and I’m as guilty as the next guy when it comes to dropping the ball on prayer.
You have to put it in your schedule as you would making an appointment for the doctor, or meeting a client, or going to the grocery store.
You know it has to be done and the only way you will remember; is if you mark it down and develop a routine. Like all appointments, they are hard to get to, but once you’re there; it’s usually easy sailing.
And if we would all realize that this is the only thing that changes things to God’s will, it will be so much easier to complete the task.
I know so many people want you to believe that meeting with God is like catching up with an old friend, and it can be. But it’s not always the case, more not than so.
In Matthew 26:36-46 – is the story of Jesus at the garden of Gethsemane.
You all know the story when Jesus takes Peter and the two sons of Zebedee and begins to pray. He prays so hard, His sweat is drops of blood, only to find Peter and the two others asleep while He has been agonizing in prayer.
That does not sound like catching up with an old friend.
Not only that, Peter and the others did not see the great importance and allowed their frail, tired bodies to take over, and succumbed to sleep.
How many times do you think we have been so close to praying for something so important, and then we fall asleep? We need to realize our importance in the overall picture and condition ourselves to become a disciplined disciple.
How do you become that disciplined disciple you might ask? Where do you think it’s best to plant a young tree: a clearing in an old-growth forest or an open field?
Ecologists tell us that a young tree grows better when it’s planted in an area with older trees. The reason is that the roots of the young tree are able to follow the pathways created by former trees, and implant themselves more deeply. Over time, the roots of many trees may actually graft themselves to one another, creating an intricate, interdependent foundation hidden under the ground.
In this way, stronger trees share resources with weaker ones so that the whole forest becomes healthier.
It stands to reason if you get in a church and plant yourself next to a mature Christian, you will grow stronger and your roots deeper. This is the easiest way for you to grow and get good knowledge of the Lord.
Karen Y. Stevens is the founder of Orange County Christian Writers Guild