• David Osteen

Pre-Paid Prayer

I want you to think about your telephone service for a moment. Cell phones give us the ability to call virtually anyone from virtually anywhere. Satellite phones can even be used in the most treacherous and remote of locations. The technology is as fascinating as it is stunning. 100 years ago people were using Morris Code over landlines. But for thousands of years mankind has had this “anyone from anywhere” access to God through prayer.

Comparing your access to God to your access to the world; how much are you willing to pay for your cell phone service? How much would you be willing to pay if God started charging? What would be a reasonable rate? How often would you “call on Him”? Would you only use the service for emergency calls? Knowing it would cost you money, would you be willing to call just to say thank you? How much would that direct service to God be worth to you? Do you think you perhaps value it less because He has provided it for free? Do you think it lacks status in your mind because it’s free, and open to all?

I wonder when we stand before God in judgment, if He would use our cellphone records against us. I wonder if He would say, “David, for the month of June 2007 you used all your 1000 Sprint PCS anytime minutes and do you know how many minutes you spent calling on Me in prayer?” How shameful it would be for so many people, to see how much they use their phones in comparison to how much they use prayer. What would a prayer bill look like? How many minutes would you log every month? Would you see a pattern of three 60 second calls a day indicating when you ate your meals? Would you even see that many? If you could chose a plan according to the minutes you used in prayer, would you be on the basic $35 plan or would you have to opt for one of those unlimited prayer plans because you pray so much? And for us spouses and/or parents, would it be worth it to get a “family share plan”? Are we praying with our spouse, and teaching our children to pray?

Perhaps one of the reasons prayer is so underutilized is because it’s free. Now mind you, it is free to those who are faithful in the Lord (Prov. 15:29; I Pt. 3:7), but the truth of the matter is that it is only free because the price has already been paid for by Jesus. Christ is our Mediator and High Priest, and it is by His blood we have access to God. (Heb. 10:19-22; 4:14-16; 2:17-18) His sacrifice gives us the pathway of prayer to God. What if it wasn’t free? What if you had to pay $200 a month to have access to God in prayer? Would you remember to pray more often? God gave His Son so that we might have the access we do? I know how much that means to God, and God knows how much that means to you; by seeing how you utilize and value the blessing of prayer.

So the next time you get your phone bill in the mail, look at it and compare how much time you spend talking to God vs. the rest of the world. When you write that check out to the phone company, ask yourself if you value prayer as much as you do phone service. And when you see that check clear your bank account, take a moment to thank God; that your access to Him is prepaid.

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