You know those great men of faith who would pray all night long or for hours before their day began? I always used to read about them and be in such awe of how anyone could pray that long and actually have enough to say. I've always had a bit of a radical heart and whenever I'd hear of people with that kind of experience I'd get so inspired to try and do the same that I'd get up early and kneel down, and well, you know the rest. Either fall asleep, get discouraged, or run out of things to say.
I remember one year setting a goal that I'd pray for an hour straight every single morning. And I actually did for about a week. But somehow the excitement never lasted. It always ended in feeling frustrated with myself that I just couldn't do it.
Then Jesus began to win deeper pieces of my heart and I started opening up to Him more and more. I started to pray because I just wanted to talk to Him.
That's grown for a couple years now. My prayer times have gradually gotten longer and longer and I honestly hadn't really noticed. It's not been about trying to pray for a certain period of time. It's not been about trying to be like a reformer. I pray because I want to be with Jesus and I can't help it. I can't live without it. Life without long conversations with Jesus everyday becomes more like existence.
I think I'm starting to grasp now how Jesus prayed all night. Why Enoch left all society to spend time talking with his God. Why Martin Luther is quoted as saying... "I have so much to do today that I shall never get through it with less than three hours of prayer." They didn't do it because they had to, or because they wanted to be like some great man who had come before them.
They did it because they couldn't live without Jesus and they just wanted to be with Him.
Maybe if we loved God like they did we would spend time with Him like they did. Maybe then we'd catch ourselves praying for hours and not even realize it had been happening...
Maybe our problem isn't that we don't try hard enough but that we simply aren't in love?