For our “Five Day Prayer” at JBC, which started yesterday and goes until the end of Friday, we pray 10 hours each day, and I have been praying about 8 of the 10 hours. These first 2 days I have gotten up at 4:30 am and gotten to bed about midnight or later. So tonight I am tired, and I think I will sleep in 1 hour in the morning. Let me suggest 3 reasons why I do this. The first reason is not very spiritual. I just like to periodically do something hard, and to conquer it. I recently rode my bicycle across the United States for the second time. Why? I just like to do something hard, and succeed. Sometimes when we have a 5 day prayer event I will fast for the 5 days and just drink water and some coffee. I like to eat so that added part makes it really hard, but I like to do hard things, and push myself a little farther than the previous challenge. I am not doing this as a game to win, but as a challenge to make myself stronger so I can win in life, handle trials without caving in.
The second reason is that I deeply believe in the power of prayer, and that sacrifice pleases God and increases the power of my praying. Jesus sacrificed Himself on the cross going through great agony, and it was that sacrifice that procured my eternal salvation. King David said, “I will not offer to God that which cost me nothing”. During this 5 days of prayer we are asking God to use us to start churches and schools in West Africa. We are asking Him to provide funds to pay missionaries to take the gospel into countries that don’t know Him.
And the third reason is I want to know God intimately, really know Him, not just know about Him, but have a genuine relationship with him. God waits to be wanted. If we seek Him diligently we will find Him.