Have you ever noticed that when you start to pray you are sometimes instantly flooded with all of the urgent needs in your day? The things that must be done--right now! I mean, they can't wait another second! (At least it feels that way.)
Usually, I am prepared for this onslaught and can keep praying. In fact, the irony is that these things which seem so urgent are occurring to me just as I am praying, (and can get help!) which is twice the reason to stay solidly on my knees, or at my desk with my head bowed--and yet there are days when I succumb to that "urgency" and leave my Lord to "accomplish" something.
I firmly believe there ARE times to leave the prayer closet before you pray deeply, such as when you must take care of tasks which have been left undone--despite divine nudges. But these are few and far between. Some are:
- When unforgiveness has lingered, and you need to make something right. You may need to speak to that person, write a note, extend an invitation for a get-together, whatever the case may be. This IS urgent, for unforgiveness will come between you and your Lord and must be attended to. It is an ugly weed in your life and you need to get that thing at the root! (Asking for divine help to do so is wise, however.)
- When God has already been dealing with you to do a thing, and you have been dragging your feet. There are lots of reasons why we dread doing certain tasks in life, but if the Lord has already been dealing with you about something, then by all means, DO IT! Whatever the issue or task, it is not worth becoming a sin in your heart, which also comes between you and the lover of your soul.
- When other people will suffer from your absence. If your kids need you first thing in the morning, you must either get up earlier to pray unhindered, or take care of them first. Same for anyone else who is dependent upon you for their care or sustenance.