Monday, January 8, 2018

Are you AWOL?

I recently was listening to Dr. Charles Stanley on the radio in my truck. The topic of Dr. Stanley's message was on prayer. In the few brief minutes I had to listen to his message, I heard a perspective on prayer I had never considered before. In the message Dr. Stanley taught how we are to spend time in prayer every day. This is nothing new to most Christians, but the perspective Dr. Stanley gave was on what that time in prayer means to our spiritual life. He talked about how spending time in prayer with God each day was like a soldier reporting for duty. 

Soldiers go to their commanding officers for orders on what they are to accomplish that day. Guard a perimeter. Attack the enemy. Hold a position. If the soldier does not report for duty they cannot accomplish the task expected of them. The military term for a soldier who does not report to their post or for their duty is Absent Without Official Leave, or AWOL.

As I listened to Dr. Stanley continue to teach on prayer, I continued thinking on the idea of spending time in prayer being like a soldier reporting for duty. I could not shake the idea of all those days in my life where I did not take seriously the spiritual responsibility I had to spend time in prayer. It stuck with me that I was AWOL every day I did not take my cares and burdens to the Lord. When I did not take time to pray, I was not fulfilling what was expected of me by my God.

When a soldier goes AWOL, there are certain consequences. Soldiers may be forced to forfeit pay, be confined for up to a year, and possibly even be dishonorably discharged. These are serious consequences for a soldier going AWOL. When we go AWOL from our prayer life, we face certain circumstances as well. We miss out on what God wants to accomplish through us that day. We miss out on what God wants to do to prepare us for the good and the bad we may face that day. We can't share with Him the burdens in our hearts or seek comfort and peace for our problems. Being AWOL from our prayer life is much more serious than most of us believe it to be.

I'll leave you with this. Ask your self honestly if you have been AWOL from your prayer life. Have you been failing to report for duty? Consider the consequences you've paid because of your absentee prayer life. After honestly reflecting on these questions, realize that today is the day you can turn it all around. Today is the day you can start reporting for duty so you can get your assignments from God and share with Him those things that mean the most to you. Whether you spend time in prayer first thing in the morning, at lunch in your car, or last thing before you go to bed at night, be sure to find a time that you can consistently spend in prayer and then report for duty.

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