Many years ago, when Christianity first spread to north Africa, some of their earliest converts were earnest and regular in their daily devotions. They were devoted, not only to poring over the Scriptures, but to pouring their hearts out to the Lord. They were serious pray-ers. Many times the African believers would find secluded places in thickets where they could pray for long periods of time in private. In fact, they did this so much that several paths became distinctly marked over time. Because of all the foot traffic to their quiet places, trails began to form. The paths were so noticeable that, when any believer began to decline in their devotions, it was soon apparent to others. Brethren concerned about their fellow Christians falling behind would offer a word of gentle rebuke, which became a common phrase in those days: “Brother, the grass grows on your path yonder.” The growth of grass on the path to their quiet place was a sign they hadn’t been there in a while.
Far too often the grass grows on our path, doesn’t it? Sometimes we pray so little that the old path to the place of prayer is hardly noticeable. But this is not the way it should be. The earnestness and frequency with which these African Christians prayed is precisely what God desires from you as a believer. You are instructed in several passages of Scripture to wear out the path to the throne of grace and pray constantly. (1) Jesus calls you to pray continually: “And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1). (2) Paul admonishes you to pray constantly in the power of the Spirit: “Praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication” (Eph. 6:18a). (3) Paul also exhorts you to pray constantly in a time of trial: “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer” (Romans 12:12). (4) Finally, Paul (again) commands you to pray always: “Continue steadfastly in prayer, being watchful in it with thanksgiving” (Colossians 4:2). And in 1 Thessalonians 5, “Pray without ceasing” (v. 17). This does not mean you must pray every hour of every day—but you should always be in the spirit and mindset of prayer. It is impossible to always be on bended knee, but you can train your heart to always be ready to bow to the Lord in prayer. Imagine what would change in your life and in your church if you always prayed as earnestly and frequently as the African Christians of old. What might the Lord accomplish if you frequented the place of prayer so much that the grass never had a chance to sprout?
Editor’s Note: Opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the editorial opinion of the Murray Ledger & Times.