In 1828, a family named Hermès settled in France and opened a harness shop in Paris. Soon they were selling upscale products to European noblemen, and they haven’t stopped. Today you can still buy expensive, high-quality Hermès products worldwide.
Hermès closed its stores in America for three days a few years ago and flew their employees to an upscale hotel in Princeton. Motivational speakers were there to inspire and reinvigorate the company’s sales force. Hermès recognized that joyless employees wouldn’t be successful selling $2,300 bracelets. They needed motivators to fire up their enthusiasm.
Many companies rely on inspirational conferences to rekindle enthusiasm, enhance attitudes, and restore focus to employees. But human advice only goes so far. To really find spiritual focus, sit at the feet of Jesus. Nothing equals the motivation He gives for victorious living, and no one can equal His insight. Best of all, we can arrange a personal meeting every day.
The Priority of Prayer
Psalm 46:10a says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” That verse reveals our bottom line and our top priority. The bottom line is: He is God, Creator of the Universe, Sustainer of Eternity. Our top priority is being still long enough each day to know Him. We need periods of silence and solitude for prayer and the Word. Our quiet time is for turning off the noise, unplugging the distractions, and meeting Him.
When our ancestors sat at home, the only sound was the ticking clock on the wall. When they walked by the creek, they listened to water gurgling over rocks. But we’ve replaced the gurgling water with whatever’s coming through our earphones.
I’m not against electronics. I’m just saying we need to turn them off long enough to be still; and we need to be still long enough to know that He is God. The Bible says, “In quietness and confidence shall be your strength” (Isaiah 30:15b).
This attitude of prayer should be a priority for us. Learn to shut the door of your closet (Matthew 6:6); calm and quiet your soul (Psalm 131:2); and say, “Speak, LORD, for Your servant hears” (1 Samuel 3:9).
The Practice of Prayer
There are three great ways to practice prayer. First, pray alone. The biblical heroes knew how to retreat to solitary places and agonize with God in prayer. Daniel retired to his room three times a day for prayer. Christ often withdrew by Himself in prayer. Let’s do the same.
Second, pray with a partner. Jesus said, “Where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). Your prayer partner may be your husband or wife or friend, and the partnership can last for decades.
Third, pray at church and in groups. Corporate prayer is a wonderful blessing to the individual and to the church.
The Power of Prayer
Cameron V. Thompson wrote, “A day without prayer is a day without blessing, and a life without prayer is a life without power.”[i] Don’t miss the opportunity to sit at the feet of Jesus. Motivational speaker, Zig Ziglar said this about prayer: “We need to carve out a time so that prayer is a priority to us. The pressures we face each day will threaten to crowd out our tme with God, so we need to guard our time of prayer…Prayer isn’t just a self-improvement exercise. When we pray, we are connecting with a living Person who loves, grieves, laughs, and hears.”[ii]
At life’s greatest moments or dullest days, prayer is the conductor that keeps our focus on God, who can do exceeding abundantly more than we can ask or imagine. It changes our lives and motivates us to live each day in the presence and with the power of the Lord.
Get focused on Him and remember—Prayer Changes Things!
Forward reveals Dr. Jeremiah’s personal approach to life and how to find the presence and purpose of God in your future! There is something for everyone in this book. The inspirational content, in part or in whole, gives you practical biblical insight into the “what’s next” in your life.