“And the Lord said unto him, ‘Arise and go into the street which is called Straight and enquire in the house of Judas for one called Saul of Tarsus—for, behold, he prays’.”

Acts 9:11

It’s the hardest spiritual discipline we’ll ever learn, but also the one by which we accomplish the most.


How difficult this communion or conversation with God.  How foreign to our fleshly inclinations; yet, if we are to have “power with God and power with men” (Gen. 32:28), like Jacob we must learn what it means to “wrestle with God until He blesses us” (Gen. 32:26).

Such praying does not come easy or without cost.

Neither is it learned in public places, surrounded by others whose ears gather here every word that we pray.  Instead, deep “soul-solicitation”. . .or “effectual fervent prayer that prays earnestly” (James 5:16b-18). . .is found and formed in secret solitude with the Savior.

Jesus Himself longed for those quiet times and places.  That’s why so often He “arose a long time before daylight and departed into a solitary place to pray” (Mk. 1:35).  That’s also why He was prone to “go out into the mountains and pray all night” (Lk. 6:12).  He needed those times of communion with the Father.

And, if He, the Son of God, needed them, should not we?

Most assuredly we do.

But, our problem is busyness.  Instead of “being about the Father’s business” (Lk. 2:49), we’re absorbed by the world’s business.  Much to do about nothing.  Helter-skelter schedules.  Flitting here and there like a bee gathering pollen, but ending up with great poverty of soul.

Such, should not be, dear Pilgrim.

Not if we truly want “to know Him (Christ) and the Power of His Resurrection” (Phil. 3:10).

It’ in “returning and rest that we are saved and in quietness and confidence that we gain our strength” (Is. 30:15).  Thus, again, to learn to pray as Jesus did, we must intentionally set aside a time and a place each day to “be still and know that He is God” (Ps. 46:10a); otherwise, we’ll never hear His “still, small Voice” speaking to us (I Kings 19:12).

How interesting to note that the Lord Jesus told Ananias that one of the ways he’d find Saul on Straight Street was by his praying!  Did that mean he’d never prayed before?  Not hardly—for, most likely, as a dyed-in-the-wool, proud Pharisee, he loved standing on the street corner praying loud and long, waxing eloquently in his supposed prayers.

Yet, it would appear that he’d never really prayed until after he met Jesus on the Damascus Road.  And, now his prayers were “different”—for they arose from an humble spirit and seeking heart.  May the same be true for us in our praying.  May we ask the Holy Spirit to “help us in our infirmities for we know not what we should pray for as we ought” (Rom. 8:26).  This will take time; but, it’ll definitely be time well-spent and reap eternal results.

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated November 18, 2010

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