Then He returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour?” Matthew 26:40 (NLT)
In the simplest of terms, prayer is spending time with God. “With” is the operative word here. As Jesus agonized in prayer “with” His Father, the night before He died, He invited Peter and His disciples to watch and pray “with” Him. The Greek word for with is also translated other places in the New Testament as “together,” “accompany” and “companion.” The picture we have then of this invitation to prayer by Jesus is His desire for us to spend time together and to accompany Him as a companion on a journey into the heart of the Father.
Unfortunately we all too easily lose sight of this picture and understanding of prayer. When we do, prayer becomes more a duty than a delight. However, the “be with” factor perspective on prayer transforms it from something we “have to do” into something we “get to do.” Time with God is like eating or sleeping, it is not an option but a necessity of life, and a very enjoyable one at that. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to sitting down for a meal or finally laying my head on the pillow at the end of a long day, I am glad I get to do it and wouldn’t think of passing it up!
When it comes to the enjoyable necessities of life, it is not about finding the time or making the time. It is about taking the time! Can you see the difference? We take time for the things that are important to us and the things we enjoy. We make time for the things that are optional. There is no legitimate excuse for people not taking time to eat or sleep. Why? Because anyone who fails to take the time to eat or sleep is not only endangering their health but will eventually die.