The Tile Floor
“Never stop praying,” I Thessalonians 5:17, NLT.
Why I decided to start on it at 9:30 at night, I still am not sure. But, the renovations finally being done at the house means that I can start painting, decorating and cleaning it to make it more “our house.” Since we cannot paint after dark, I decided to tackle the tile floors. I started in the kitchen and at first I was very optimistic that it would not take that long. At eleven p.m., and I had only worked my way through half of the kitchen, and still had the dining room and entry way to go, I went to bed. What seemed like an easy project, turned into a major one. Three days—three evenings, actually, I worked on those tiles. I was on my hands and knees, scrubbing each tile, and especially working on the grout. Scrubbing away with a small brush, I was able to remove stains, grease, and drywall dust from those tiny crevices in the grout. But it took work. It took time. While our teenagers were watching television, I was scrubbing. When I would have rather been lounging or reading a good book, I was scrubbing. When my back hurt and my knees were sore, you guessed it; I was still scrubbing. I learned every crook and crevice of that floor. I know where the small crack is in one of the tiles. I know where the ant crawled under the dog’s food mat and didn’t come back out. I know where the pencils leads hide when they fall out of the mechanical pencils at the desk. I know where all the nooks and crannies are in the grout. What I thought would be a simple project that wouldn’t take very long, became a major project with a lot of sweat and effort involved
And so it is with prayer. Sometimes, we have this notion that prayer is just a casual conversation with God, just talking to Him. And at its foundation, that is probably true—prayer constitutes communication with God. But, when we really get serious about prayer, start taking heavy petitions to God, start asking Him to cleanse and purify us, it becomes work. Hard work. It’s not a one-night project—prayer requests take time, sweat and attention. We learn the ins and outs of our requests—the people, the places, the heartaches, and the joys. When we stay at it, it is worth it.
Just like the floor. After three days of hard scrubbing, my knees were sore, but the floor looked fantastic. I really couldn’t take the credit, the cleaner did the work, but I had to put in the time. The same with prayer—God gets the glory, but He allows us the privilege to be a part of it.
Thought-provoker: Are we spending time in prayer and putting the time in on our knees to make a difference? Are we willing to do the work?
Abba, thank You for allowing us to join in the work of prayer. Please help us not to take it for granted, and to spend the time truly communicating with You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.