DAILY VIDEO DEVOTIONAL
Matthew : Chapter 6
5) “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. 6) But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7) And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8) Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
Book of the Month
Sammy Tippit told his fiancée, “I can’t promise we’ll be rich, but life won’t be boring.”
Sammy had no idea what an understatement that would become. Beginning in the bars of Baton Rouge and the nightclubs of Chicago, Tippit has shared the news of life-changing faith in Christ all over the world – including in the middle of a revolution in Romania, the aftermath of genocide in Rwanda, and war in Burundi and the Congo.
Sammy’s lifelong adventure has come at a great price. He’s been cursed, threatened, arrested, deported, and blacklisted. He’s also been personally broken, ravaged with illness, and devastated by grief.
Yet he continues to preach to in stadiums, in open fields, and via satellite technology to hundreds of thousands around the globe. For all other books…
Sammy Tippit: I don’t know about you, but I have so much enjoyed visiting with my friend Dave Butts and talking about prayer. Dave, what has blessed me so much is your emphasis on the fact that it’s God’s love. It’s God’s initiative. That has meant so much to me. I know it has probably meant a lot to you as well. I want us to turn a corner a little bit here and talk about something practical about prayer. Dave, let’s talk about prayer.
Where do you pray? Do you have to go to the church? Do you have to go to the temple? Do you have to go to the mosque? Where do you pray? Where is it good to pray? Let’s visit about that. I know Paul the great apostle, for instance, was a persecutor of Christians. Then Jesus met him. He wasn’t seeking Jesus. He was seeking to kill those who loved Jesus, but Jesus found him just like what you were talking about.
Dave Butts: That’s right. Jesus was seeking him.
Sammy: That’s right. Then God called him to go and bring this wonderful message to the world. When he went to Philippi, the first thing he did was find a place outside the town, outside the place where they were, and that was the place of prayer. The Jews had places of prayer scattered throughout the Roman Empire. Paul went there to pray. So is there something about having a special place of prayer? If so, tell me what that is or explain that to me.
Dave: Well, yes and no. How’s that for being really bold?
Dave: First of all, I believe it’s very, very important to have some special places, some ways to get away and focus on God. Jesus did that. If the Son of God needed that, I figure we do too. In Mark 1, it says that very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, went to a solitary place, and prayed there. He wasn’t just wandering around. He went to a solitary place that was somewhere else.
It says in Scripture that he often would go to the Mount of Olives, particularly to the Garden of Gethsemane. We often think of that only in terms of the very last day before he was betrayed, but he often went to Gethsemane to pray. That was a place of prayer for him. There was a movie that came out just this past year called War Room. This great little prayer warrior took a room in her house, her closet, and made it her “war room.” It was a place of prayer.
Sammy: It’s kind of like when Jesus said, “Go into your closet.”
Dave: Absolutely. I love having that. I love going to places of prayer. I think it’s helpful. It can help cut off distractions. We can often have things that are there that will help us in prayer. It’s a good, healthy thing, but there’s something we need to remember. That is the fact that wherever we are, God is there. The place of prayer ultimately is wherever we are.
Dave: Because the Lord is with us, and he is always inviting us to walk with him, listen to him, and talk with him. I remember hearing an evangelist years ago. Someone was talking to him about prayer, and he said, “So, brother, when is your time alone with the Lord?” He looked at the man and said, “As soon as you leave me, I’ll be alone with the Lord.”
He made a point there. If I am by myself, I am alone with the Lord, whether I’m driving a car, in a classroom, at work, or at home. All of those are places of prayer, and I believe one of the things Christians can do is learn to take every place in which they are and make it a place of prayer. Now that does not mean there are not special places of prayer. For instance…
Sammy: Yeah. Before you go there to that, let me just say one thing about that. One of the things that does to you (at least for me) on a practical level is save a lot of frustration, because a lot of times things happen in life… “I’m waiting here. Why do I have to wait on this?” Well, if you’re in the presence of God, it doesn’t matter what happens. That time can be used to go into his presence. You can be in the middle of a million people and still be in his presence.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: You don’t have to be on a mat. You don’t have to be kneeling. You can be anywhere at any time and have access to God. Now I know where you’re headed, and I want to ask you about it, okay? I talked to my wife when I first arrived here, right before I came in here. I talked to my wife, and it was great, but last night my wife and I did a two-mile walk and really talked.
Dave: That’s right. Yes.
Sammy: I mean, we really shared our hearts. So that place like Paul had and that place Jesus had… When you just need to get focused, that’s where you go. I think we need to get focused at some point every day.
Dave: Absolutely. Yeah. That is where our relationship with the Lord deepens: in those places, those times that are set apart and given just to that.
Dave: I use kind of the same illustration you just did. When my wife and I began Harvest Prayer Ministries decades ago, we shared an office. I mean, literally, her desk was here and mine was right next to it. We could just turn and talk with each other. We would talk all throughout the day, and that was good. It was important. But we lived across the street from a beautiful cemetery. We had wonderful neighbors who were very quiet.
We would go over through that cemetery in the evening, and we would hold hands and walk. Those conversations were so much deeper. That’s where we got to know each other better. So it is for us with the Lord. We are intended to be a people who talk with the Lord all day long. If we only pray in church or special places, we are missing something, but if all we ever do is what I call pray-as-you-go prayer, we will also miss something. We’ll miss those times of going deeper with God when our focus is truly just upon him.
Sammy: Yeah. That’s such a beautiful thing. When you think about God… The God of the universe, the God who created it, is everywhere all the time. He knows all things and has all power.
Dave: That’s amazing.
Sammy: I mean, here you are. I’m driving in my car. I’m flying here on a plane. Wherever I am, God is there. There’s nowhere I can go to avoid him. He’s there, so I can talk to him anywhere at any time. I don’t have to be in a “religious position.” To be honest with you, I’ve had some great prayer times on planes when I’ve just pulled the little blanket they gave me over my head and just met with God.
Sammy: God met with me there as I went.
Dave: Well, you’re closer to heaven.
Sammy: Right. But then those times in those places… By the way, when I talk about a place… My wife is an indoor person. She has a big chair in our living room where she likes to go, sit down, take her Bible, open her Bible, and just read the Bible. God speaks to her, and she speaks to God. I’m an outdoors guy. I like to go out. There’s a park not far from where we are. I like to go walk in that park. There are deer. There’s life. I love just to be outside in the nature and just talk with God. So really, wherever it is you feel you can connect and focus…
Dave: Because we’re all different.
Sammy: That’s right.
Dave: What works for you may not work for me. I am like you. I love to walk. I do well walking and praying, so sometimes if I can’t get outside, if the weather is bad, I’ll even walk in the house and pray. It helps me stay focused. It somehow keeps me more alert and able to hear God better.
I believe that all of us must discover the way we pray best and where we pray best, not looking at what others are doing but at how we can walk together in this. I just think of Susanna Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley from years and years ago. She had a lot of children, and it was very tough for her to have quiet time. You would know that if you had over one dozen children.
Sammy: Yeah. Right. I know what it is like with one.
Dave: She taught this. She taught her children to honor one hour a day that she would take. She would sit on a stool in her kitchen, take her apron, and put it over her head. She would spend an hour alone with God every day.
Sammy: The result of that was a man who literally impacted the world for Jesus Christ.
Dave: That’s right.
Sammy: So listen. There can be a lady or a man who can impact the world. Find a place. Get alone with God, meet with him, and let him meet with you.
About Sammy Tippit Ministries
STM has been providing inspiration and help around the world for nearly 50 years. Sammy Tippit, founder and president, is a world renowned counselor, teacher and evangelist with experience serving and helping people in over 80 countries. Sammy provides materials that help people tackle a broad array of social, societal, psychological and spiritual issues. He is particularly passionate about making materials accessible to other countries around the world. Sammy is married to Debara “Tex” Tippit, and they have two children and five grandchildren.
Sammy Tippit Ministries is a registered 501c3 non-profit organization.
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