Do you know that just five minutes launched my whole prayer life? It’s sometimes amazing how a seemingly inconsequential comment made by someone can be so pivotal in our lives. That is definitely the case here, because I’m sure Dennis had no idea God would use his small question to challenge me in the way it did.
I was meeting weekly with a small Bible Study and prayer group from my church. Dennis was our leader and also an associate pastor. One night he started talking about prayer, and how we should pray every day, and he asked the question: what would happen if we prayed just five minutes a day consistently? I didn’t say anything, but inside myself I smiled my little condescending “holier than thou” smile.
Five minutes? JUST five minutes? You’ve got to be kidding. I’m far more advanced than that – I pray bucketsful more than that each day. Hmm. Hmm. Hmm. These people need help. Having come to know the Lord in a very dramatic way at a time of deep need, I had started off my Christian walk with practically round the clock prayer and Bible reading. But a couple of years had past since then.
A few days later the question kept nagging me. I felt God saying; “Oh really now, where was Monday’s five minutes?” “Did you get five minutes in on Wednesday?” I slowly began to realize that I wasn’t ACTUALLY praying all that much anymore. Not consistently, even five minutes a day. I felt embarrassed, and was glad I hadn’t voiced my thoughts to the group, though God had obviously overheard me.
I will always be grateful to Dennis because that challenge marked a critical change in my life that has affected me all the years since. I determined to pray at least five minutes a day consistently. This meant focused, committed, undistracted, disciplined prayer; usually on my knees by the side of my bed. Over time I prayed much more, but the baseline was always that simple five minutes.
Now I give you this challenge. What would happen if you prayed consistently five minutes a day? I also give you this blessing: may the Lord graciously nag you like he did me until you decide to find out.