You must have heard the song "It's not an easy road." For sure it isn't. And there are a million ways to miss heaven. Nevertheless, there is a guaranteed way to get there: a partnership with Jesus. We keep that connection strong through Bible study, prayer, worship with fellow Christians, and service to others. These are some of the proven ways through which we remain part of the vine (John 15). In fact, in verse 14, He says that if we do all these heartily, we shall remain his friends. Remember the old adage, a friend in need is a friend in deed?
Don't get me wrong here. We are the ever needy ones while Jesus remains the provider. For instance, take this exercise we once used to prove a fact: You ask for two volunteers. Have one volunteer think of a problem and try to ask for help from the other volunteer without using words. Set a timer for 30 seconds. Now have another pair try with a different problem. Do you see the fact? How easy is that? This analogy illustrates our friendship with Christ. Jesus can't help us when we're in trouble unless we ask for help.
There are tools given to us as Christians that we can use to become more emotionally and spiritually healthy. What we call the 3~ships: worship, fellowship and swalloships. Most importantly, there is prayer. This was Jesus' plumbline. A reading of Mark 1:21-35 tells it all. After a long day's work, Jesus takes the evening call for patients who would present late in the evening. He enjoys sweet sleep at night and rises early in the morning to pray. What lessons can we learn from Jesus' prayer life? One man cleverer than I says:
1. We shouldn't wear ourselves out serving God; we need to take time to rejuvenate.
2. Although we're tired from the day's stresses, we still need to carve out time for prayer.
3. Although corporate worship is good, we also need one-on-one time with God.
4. If Jesus needed prayer, we need it even more.
5. Prayer gives us the strength to go out and serve another day. What a balm in payer!
"Take time to be holy,
Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in him always,
And feed on his word.
Make friends of God's children,
Help those who are weak,
Forgetting in nothing his blessing to seek."
Sincerely, in terms of prayer, I don't feel like am there yet. I am not so sure, but I can guess that many, like me still haven't made prayer, bible study and service to others part and parcel of us. It is time we asked our greatest Friend, to give us just a little more strength to be better pray-ers. Our partnership will blossom. Only then shall we sing and mean it: "when we all get to heaven..."