The Cool of the Day Ever since the first family, people have been talking with God. Adam and Eve walked and talked with God “in the cool of the day,” and their children, Cain and Abel, built altars of prayer to Him. When man sinned, it did not stop the flow of prayer; rather it made talking with God even more necessary. “Adam lay with his wife again, and she gave birth to a son and named him Seth, saying, ‘God has granted me another child in place of Abel, since Cain killed him.’ Seth also had a son, and he named him Enosh. At that time men began to call on the name of the Lord.” (Genesis 4:25-26). View full chapter Hide full chapter
Billy and the Broom
Young Billy was staying at a cottage in the Canadian woods with his mother. After the evening meal, while washing the dishes, she asked the five-year-old to get the broom from the front steps. Billy looked out through the screen door into the dark night. He could hear the crickets and frogs chirping and an owl hooted in the distance. Quickly he retreated to his mother’s side, and whispered, “Mommy, I’m scared.”
Mom bent down to face her son at his level. “You have nothing to be afraid of Billy; Jesus is with us,” she said. “He is everywhere, even out there on the front porch. Now you be a brave boy and fetch Mommy the broom.” Slowly, frightened Billy returned to the screen door and peered out into the darkness. Quietly he spoke, “Hey Jesus, pass me the broom!”
Everyone needs to pray, and no matter how sophisticated or simple, it is as important as breathing air and drinking water. Whether we live in a wealthy mansion or on the streets of the ghettos, we need to talk with God. We may be a senior citizen with gray hair, or a child, like Billy. We may live in Scotland or Sri Lanka—it matters not. We all need God and prayer is our link with Him.
"Enter Thy Closet..."
I was fourteen when I became a Christian. While reading my Bible, I discovered the words of Jesus, “When you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door, pray to your Father who is in secret, and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” (Matthew 6:6).
I had a clothes closet in my bedroom with a light in it. I took God’s word literally, went into the closet, turned on the light, and shut the door. I was in a secret place. I sat down in the corner on a pile of dirty laundry, opened my Bible, and spent time with God. I talked with Him, read a few verses of Scripture, listened, and talked with Him some more. Being with God was wonderful. I would stay there for an hour or more until other duties of life called me away or until mother would call, “Peter, it is supper time.”
“God, I’ve got to go now,” I would whisper as I left the closet. “Mother wants me for supper.”
I was having my first adventures with God, and He was answering my prayers. Only a few days had passed since I had become a newborn Christian, and I was already experiencing mild persecution. My unsaved older brother and sister were mocking me for becoming a believer. In the secret closet I began praying for them fervently. I was unable to witness to them and I told no one that I was praying for their salvation. In my youthful zeal I asked God to save them within a week or at least show me that He was drawing them in a powerful way towards salvation. Sunday was the deadline, and I decided to add fasting (abstaining from food) to my prayers. Although we had regularly attended church meetings since the very beginning even in our mother’s womb, I had never seen Grace or Andrew, now ages sixteen and eighteen, respond to a call for salvation. The Sunday morning meeting passed uneventfully. I prayed all afternoon. Halfway through the evening meeting I glanced back to see my teenage siblings giggling and talking, as was their custom. I thought maybe I had asked something too difficult for God. “No,” I argued with myself. “Nothing is too hard for God.”
I prayed all the harder. The guest speaker gave an altar call at the end of his message. No one responded, and my father, the church pastor, stood behind the lectern to close the meeting. I kept praying, and suddenly the guest preacher stood to his feet and said, “Excuse me, but the Holy Spirit is asking me to give the altar call again.”
This was very uncustomary, but he proceeded to do so—another six times! I continued to pray fervently and remember feeling the presence of God fill the room after about his fourth invitation. People began weeping quietly as they realized that God had showed up. I kept praying and when the appeals were over I opened my eyes. There were Andrew and Grace on their knees at the front. Their hands were lifted in the air, and tears were streaming down their faces, as they surrendered their lives to God. He had answered my simple prayer from the secret place, and from that point on; I dedicated myself to serve the Lord for the rest of my life.
At fourteen, without human instruction, I prayed, and God not only heard but answered. He wants each of us to talk with Him more. God, who made the nations, did so that we might seek Him and find Him, for He is not far away from any of us.