Do not withhold Your tender mercies from me, O Lord; Let Your lovingkindness and Your truth continually preserve me.
I find that one of the best times in prayer is when the evening is quiet, the day is done, and I’m alone with God. But I’ve prayed at most times of the day. I’ve prayed in the morning when I wake up. I’ve prayed during the day while at work. I’ve prayed with Nancy both in the morning and always at night before bed. But there’s something about the stillness of the evening.
Back when I first came to know Jesus as my Savior, I really tried hard to find times when I could talk to Him. I was just not sure of when the best time was to pray. I was instructed that I should pray without ceasing and always have an attitude of prayer. But as a new believer, I couldn’t equate that to a specific time. It was like I needed to put this time down in my daily planner so that I could set aside everything else. Well, let me tell you, that didn’t work for me. I found myself forgetting and when I realized that I had missed that “Prayer Time”, I would beat myself up. The enemy would use my missing my scheduled slot for prayer against me.
I remember one day in the stillness of the evening, I went outside to my front porch. I sat down on an old chair I picked up at a garage sale and just listened. I listened to the evening breeze. I listened to the sounds of life passing by on the road. It then occurred to me to pray. I was overwhelmed that within the stillness there was my Lord waiting. So I began to talk to Him. I remember talking out loud and feeling that He had pulled up His own chair to sit down next to me.
Well, that experience has stayed with me. The feeling of the presence of God in the stillness of the evening changed me. We’ve had times of intimacy that run deep. I’ve opened my heart to God and He has listened. People have used the term, “Prayer closet”. I’ve always thought that term was a little disheartening. It makes me envision being locked up, closed in. When I pray I want to be in open space where I can be engulfed in the enormous presence of God.
When I pray I’m reminded of God’s great love for me. I’m reminded of His tenderness towards me. I’m reminded of those times when I just needed to feel His arms around me. I’m reminded how often He has healed my heart, lifted me up, cared for my worries, blessed my wife and kids. For me, it’s in those times of stillness that I am fully open to receive all of God. For me, it’s in those times that God preserves me.
This is my story. I don’t know what time is good for you to just listen and receive the presence of God. But I encourage you to take time. Let God pour out His tender mercies and His lovingkindness over you. You will experience the magnitude of His love and the realization that He is always near.
Thank You, Lord, that you brought to remembrance our time together in the stillness of the evening. Lord, You are the strength of my heart and my portion forever. May I always long for these times of intimacy. Help me Lord to quiet myself, open my ears and my heart, and have conversation with You. You are my Lord. Come sit with me. In Jesus Name. AMEN.
Don’t believe me, believe God!