The key phrase in business for years was “location, location, location”. Some say this has changed to “position, position, position” with the advent of internet sales. Either way, the point is a business must be in the right place to be seen. Without a good location, or position, it is difficult to be successful. In prayer, the key is location and occasion.
For many years I worked with high school students. I was a teacher, coach, and administrator. I loved working with young people. Everyday was a challenging swarm of new ideas, plans, goals, and desires. In a world where something new could become old within an hour, and where people were so desperate to stand out from the crowd that they dressed, acted, and talked alike, the only real constant was change.
Sometimes you hear of a man or woman who has done something great for other people. Their life work has been for the benefit of others. For example there is the 19th century biologist/chemist Louis Pasteur. Before his work, life was very scary.
Who is the smartest person of all time? People might mention someone like Albert Einstein or Bill Gates, but there are lots of candidates. You could even include groups of people like those who sent a man to the moon. You have to be very smart to overcome all the problems of space travel, landing on the surface without crashing, and then returning to Earth. If you take the smartest person, or group, and all of their knowledge, they still know nearly nothing compared to God. So if you were looking for prayer advice wouldn’t you want to hear from the One Who has the most knowledge?
There is fast, and then there is really fast. For instance, in May of 1954, Roger Bannister completed the mile faster than anyone had ever run on a track. He broke the 4-minute-mile record by less than a second, but all that mattered was that he had broken it. To break this barrier, he had to overcome all adversity and not let anything stand in his way.
The Olympics often give us great stories of people who have dug deep. Beyond the years of training and conditioning, there are stories that capture our attention. The 1968 Olympics were held in Mexico City, and that year the marathon was won by Mamo Wolde of Ethiopia, in an impressive time of 2:20:26, but it is not the story of the winner that day that captures our attention.
John Stephen Akhwari represented Tanzania in that same Olympic marathon. Akhwari, a little before the halfway point of the race, was jockeying for his position and got knocked down. He dislocated and badly scraped his knee and damaged his shoulder when he hit the pavement. Although he was bleeding and in great pain, Akhwari got up and continued to run. While they were holding the medal ceremony, word came that Akhwari was still on his way to the finish line. Most of the spectators had left even before Akhwari crossed the finish line, more than an hour after Wolde’s victory. When asked why he continued running, he stated, “My country did not send me 10,000 miles just to start the race, they sent me to finish the race.” John Stephen Akhwari dug deep.
The story is told of one of the richest men of his day, HAW Tabor (Horace Austin Warner Tabor), also known as the Bonanza King of Leadville. In the 1800s, Tabor struck it rich in silver mines near Leadville, Colorado. For a time, he very well may have been the richest man in the United States. Everything he touched turned to gold (well in his case it turned to silver). He bought seemingly poor mining claims, and they became some of the richest silver mines anywhere.
How many things can you do at one time? The human mind is amazing in what it can do. It is fast and efficient. People use their brain in many ways and often do as many things as possible at the same time. We talk, text, tweet, check bogs, emails, Facebook, the weather, and watch the latest viral sensation, all the while doing something else. We strive to “do more and do it faster”. It is astonishing the things we try do.
But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.
Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)
We say it, “God is my priority in life”, but do we believe it and act like it? If we are to pray, really pray, we must dig deep into our lifestyle and set our priorities anew with His kingdom taking first place.
Jesus, the Man of Prayer, prayed all of His time on earth. We see Him in good times and bad, praying. His days were filled with prayers and prayer guided His decisions and plans. Finally, on the cross, with the agony and pain, we see the Man of Prayer continuing, even to the end, to pray.
And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” And they divided His garments and cast lots.
Luke 23:33-34 (NKJV)
And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last.
Luke 23:46 (NKJV)
With His expiring breath Jesus was still given to prayer.