Someone asked me recently what I thought it meant to spend time before the Lord. That’s a good question, interesting question because we know that God is omnipresent or ever-present. We know as true believers that He literally indwells us by His holy spirit. So it’s interesting to contemplate what does that mean then to go before the Lord as though He’s somewhere else or we need to journey to a location.
What Does Scripture Say?
Scripture tells us, however, that we are to come before the Lord. In fact, one scripture that encourages us to come into His presence even with a sense of boldness because who we are in Christ and make all of our petitions known to Him. So there is that aspect of a call unto Himself to come before Him. I think what it means, more than anything else, is through the discipline of devotion that we set aside a place and probably a time where we shut out all the distractions, turn off the TV, turn off the computer, and we get alone with the Lord.
I’m right now sitting in the room where I spend my time with the Lord in my devotional exercises, if we can call it that, a place where I read and study the word and have times of prayer. It’s a room that’s separated from the house. It’s quiet. There’s no noise going on.
Spending Time with Your Friend
I just got back from a trip into town, and I was praying, I think the prayer without ceasing thing, not that I was praying every minute of the journey, but as I traveled, as I drove, I would talk to the Lord. I would pray for people who I knew had particular needs. I would just praise the Lord for who He is and proclaim His majesty and His holiness. Sometimes, I just talk to Him like He’s in the seat next to me. I think the Lord must appreciate that when we do consider Him, yes as Priest and King and Lord, but as a friend as well.
So that’s all part of the praying without ceasing, but I think that’s something other than the coming before Him in a specified place where we turn our focus completely upon Him. I think at that point, prayer becomes the real power, the real essence of that time.
Focused Time Before the Lord
Oswald Chambers, one of my favorite authors, writes that prayer is not so much about getting something from God as it is getting God. I think that’s perhaps the greatest benefit of our coming before the Lord or spending time before the Lord in the discipline of devotion because I don’t think you can ever spend time before a Holy God and go away unchanged. Whenever we spend that kind of focused time before the Lord, there’s always that being conformed to the image of Christ dynamic that’s taking place in our lives.
To me, that’s what it means to spend time before the Lord, to spend those times where you read His word, let Him speak to us. We talk to Him through prayer, no distractions, nothing else. I like to call it that discipline of devotion. Certainly, there’s, as I said, the prayer without ceasing and all the other aspects of our relationship with Him, but I think coming before the Lord, spending time before the Lord is a very viable term, and I think we need to understand it as that discipline of devotion.