Yesterday’s Daily Teaching was entitled, “A Little Bible Reading is Better than No Bible reading.” The premise was simple – the potency of God’s word is not determined by quantity. Jesus, for example, spoke short succinct commands when He raised the dead, stilled the sea, and healed the sick. Those words had life-giving power in them; and so does the text of Scripture. Therefore, even a little Bible-reading on a given day is much better than no Bible reading.
Now, with that being said, let us also be reminded that a little time in prayer is so much better than no time in prayer. The publican’s prayer, “God, be merciful to me a sinner” (Lk 9:13) was brief but impactful (vs.14). Nehemiah’s prayer, prompted in response to Artaxerxes’ question (Neh. 2:4), must have been incredibly short – reading verses four and five of chapter two show how his prayer must have happened in his head in between hearing the king’s question and giving him an answer. But given the fact that the Spirit saw fit to inspire that narrative detail connotes its importance. Consider the length of Solomon’s four-verse prayer in response to the LORD’s appearance to Him in a dream by night (1 Ki. 3:6-9). From what we read in the text, it surely doesn’t look to have taken him even five minutes to pray that prayer. But nevertheless, what he said “pleased the Lord” (vs.10a).
Too often people are not spending time in prayer because they think, “I ought to be giving God more time than just five minutes on my knees.” Granted. I can understand that sentiment. It’s legitimate. But if that way of thinking sounds familiar to you please be reminded – five minutes is much better than nothing. In five minutes you can pray through the Lord’s Prayer (Mt. 6:9-13). In five minutes you can pray through most psalms. In five minutes you can pray through some of the prayers of the apostle Paul (Eph. 1:17-19; 3:16-19; Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-14; 1 Thes. 3:11-13; 2 Thes. 2:16-17; 3:5). In five minutes you can tell God how thankful you are in a one-on-one personal way, make mention of about 25 people (give or take) that come to your mind, confess your sins to your Heavenly Father and ask Him to fill you afresh with His Spirit. In five minutes you can enjoy exhaling and remembering that you’re loved, not because of your prayer performance, but because of God’s grace. In five minutes you can pray for your family, your church, your neighborhood, and your elected officials.
And the list could go on.
The point is – you can do a lot more in five minutes of prayer than you might at first realize; which in itself illustrates the reality: a little time in prayer is better than no time in prayer.