Kasey pretty much blew high school. He's one of our ministry team and he's a walking miracle. The pain of his childhood set him up to make some lousy choices, like drugs for example. He quit high school and was headed for a wasted life or an early death until he met Jesus at the age of 19. He left all the junk of his past behind him and started a passionate study of God's Word, like memorizing some hundreds of verses! Kasey wanted to get a college training, but he knew that meant taking the G.E.D. test, to get a Graduation Equivalency Diploma. He had pretty much he failed math, he failed English and all the subjects he was about to be tested on. They were timed tests - something like 25-50 minutes. But at the beginning of each test, he bowed his head and prayed for about ten minutes. The teacher administering the test walked up to him and said, "Excuse me, but I think you're going to need all the time. It's challenging to get it done with all the minutes you've got. You've got no time to pray." Kasey's answer? "There's no hope if I don't."
Well, I'm Ron Hutchcraft and I want to have A Word With You today about "No Time to Pray, No Hope if I Don't."
Would you like to know how the praying test-taker did? Stay tuned. First, our word for today from the Word of God, Ephesians 6:18, it comes at the end of God's description of how to win your spiritual battles. This is the capstone verse: "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests." Even when the pressure is really on? Even when you don't have time to pray? Especially when you don't have time!
In spite of the fact that my friend had failed most of the subjects he was now being tested on, he did not miss a single math question! And he only missed two questions in all his English testing! He totally aced those tests, finishing every one in time with ten minutes of praying taken from his time!
I want you to remember that picture. It is a living example of a truth we desperately need to live on. Time spent in prayer is not time wasted, it is not time lost, it is time that will save time and effort. It's time that can make things go much more smoothly and quickly than if you hadn't taken time with God about them. God has made it clear that He wants to keep hearing from us, no matter what the squeeze we're in. In Luke 18:1, Jesus showed His disciples that "they should always pray and not give up." In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, God tells us to "pray continually." Not just in spiritual binges, but continually!
The reason it is so hard for us to pray when things are really tight is because of where our trust really is. We say it's in God, but in reality we are really trusting in our work to get it done, our effort, our meetings to get it done, our persuasion, our planning. "If I just work a little harder. If I make a better plan. If I convince a few more people," that's where our real faith often is. And you can tell by the proportion of our time we put into our effort compared with the proportion of time we put into bringing it to our Heavenly Father.
Things happen when you're praying that can make the job so much easier. As you linger in God's presence, you get breakthrough insights into people or situations, people you've been trying to change start changing, hard hearts get softened, resources get released and immovable obstacles start moving. Because you have made prayer your #1 method of getting things done.
There are miracles waiting for you if you will pay the price of praying when you feel there's just no time for it. You may think there's no time to pray, when, in fact, there's no hope if you don't.