I had the privilege to attend the church growth seminar of Rev Paul Yongi Cho a few times in India as the patron of his meetings and once in his own Church in Korea. He says that he prays for 3 hours a day (one hour each session). But he has to preach 5 messages every Sunday. So he prays 5 hours on Sunday!!! My, my, my….. We will be doing the opposite if we are busy or tired.
In Korea, I sat with him as he spent one hour to pray. I saw him praying.
He told one story in his message to us. “One day my secretary got a call from the wife of the President of Korea. She asked the secretary to connect her to Rev Cho. The secretary said, ‘he praying and won’t talk to any one for an hour’. The wife of the president was naturally irritated and insisted that she talk to Cho and say that it the wife of the President on the line. The secretary refused politely and asked that she call after the prayer hour. She called me after an hour and expressed her displeasure at the rude behavior of my secretary – which is ‘not connecting the call to me’. I replied, “Madam, when I was speaking to the President of the Universe, how I can disconnect that line and attend the call of the wife of the president of a small country like Korea. Please don’t get upset with my secretary. She did her job as per my instruction. I don’t break my prayer for anything in this world.”
The need of the hour is that the leaders pray. Yes, we all are busy. But we must squeeze out time to pray. If we will put a sign board in our office,
“8 am to 9 am – I will be speaking to God in prayer. No appointment to anyone.” (Or any other hour or prayer hours.)
I am sure that you heard this story: The mother of John Wesley was a praying woman though she had a big family and do all chores in the house without any gas stove, washing machine, etc. (This amazing women had 19 children, nine of whom died in infancy.) and she used to pray for 2 hours every day and conduct a Bible class in her home. The story is told of a day when a door-to-door salesman knocked on the door and told the child who opened the door that he would like to talk to the mother. He said, “No, you can’t.” He asked, “Why not?” the child replied, “Because she is praying.” The child knew that no one could disturb her when she was praying.
Dr. P P Job told me this story. Dr. P P Job was working for Rev T L Osborn as the representative for India in the early days - distributing finance to some needy preachers, buying hand mikes for preachers and printing tracts in various languages. Job wrote to Osborn that he is visiting USA on a preaching tour. Osborn asked Job to visit his office so that they both can meet – and they never met before personally. Job arrived in his office. The secreyray put Job in a motel and said that Osborn is praying and when he will finish his prayer, he will fix an appointment. Days passed – 1, 2, 3. Job asked when Osborn will finish his prayer. The secreyray explained, “He is in an unknown place praying to hear from God. He will finish his prayer only after he will hear from God. Osborn calls me and his sister every day only once and no one is supposed to call him even if the world will collapse.”
After two weeks, Job told the secretary that he cannot wait any more. In the evening after hearing the news, Osborn told to the secretary, “He can go back. I cannot break my prayer to meet my Indian representative whom I have not seen so far. Of course I have to discuss with him many important things. But meeting my Lord and hearing from Him is much more important.”
P P Job returned to India without seeing T L Osborn.
What an unbelievable story. What will happen if we all will pray like that? I mean all leaders including me.
Shall we pray this year? – 3 days, a week or more?
Shall all denominations, churches declare a 3 days, 10 or 21 days prayer?
Shall all denominations have a “house of prayer” in their HQ praying for 12 hours or 24 hours? Why not?
Finally, read the below message by Rick warren that I received today.
p g vargis
(Have you read the book I wrote about Rev Paul Yongi Cho which is available in Malayalam and English – ‘Church Growth Principles of Dr. Paul Yongi Cho’? If not ask for a copy mentioning the language you prefer.)
Quiet Time: Pick a Specific Time
by Rick Warren
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV)
To have an effective quiet time, you must pick a specific time to meet with the Lord each day and decide how long it should be. The general rule is this: The best time is when you are at your best! Give God the best part of your day, when you are the freshest and most alert. Don’t try to serve God with your leftover time. Remember, too, that your best time may be different from someone else’s.
For most of us, however, early in the morning seems to be the best time. It was Jesus’ own practice to rise early to pray and meet with the Father: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35).
In the Bible, many godly men and women rose early to meet with God. Some of these were:
- Abraham (Genesis 19:27)
- Moses (Exodus 34:4)
- Job (Job 1:5)
- Hannah and Elkanah (1 Samuel 1:19)
- Jacob (Genesis 28:18)
- David (Psalm 5:3; 57:7,8)
You might even consider having two quiet times (morning and night). Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators, used to have code letters for his nightly quiet time: HWLW. Whenever he was with a group of people at night or home with his wife and the conversation seemed to be ending, he would say, “All right, HWLW.” HWLW stood for “His Word the Last Word.” He practiced that through the years as a way of ending a day with one’s thoughts fixed on the Lord (Betty Lee Skinner, Daws, Zondervan, 1974, p. 103).
Whatever time you set, be consistent in it. Schedule it on your calendar; make an appointment with God as you would with anyone else. Make a date with Jesus!
Then look forward to it, and don’t stand him up. A stood-up date is not a pleasant experience for us, and Jesus does not like to be stood up either. So make a date with him, and keep it at all costs.
The question is often asked, “How much time should I spend with the Lord?” If you’ve never had a consistent quiet time before, you may want to start with seven minutes (Robert D. Foster, Seven Minutes with God, NavPress, 1997) and let it grow naturally. You should aim to eventually spend not less than 15 minutes a day with the Lord.
Talk About It
- What is the best time for you to set to have your quiet time?
- What are the things that you regularly put before or in place of your quiet time? What steps will you take today to re-prioritize your day so that God has the first and last word?