Thursday is for Discipleship
The following is from Kairos Journal and I am delighted to pass it on. Not because I have mastered its suggestion, but because it happens to be something I have been studying this year and seeking to make progress in myself. I have a long way to go. Adoniram Judson served in what was then known as Burma. Today, the nation is known officially as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, commonly shortened to Myanmar. It ranks 40th in size and 24th in population among the nations of the globe and has a population of Christians between 4-5%. Geographically, it is situated between India and Bangladesh on the West, China to the North and Thailand to the East.
Nearly all Christians in Myanmar owe their faith to the work and prayers of Judson. In this short article we get some insight into his passion for and practice of prayer.
Make Time for Prayer—Adoniram Judson (1788 – 1850)
Adoniram Judson was among the first missionaries that American Baptists sent overseas. During a long career in Burma, he became noted for his commitment to evangelism and his translation of the Bible into Burmese. A master of languages, he also produced a Burmese grammar and dictionary. His preaching ministry resulted in thousands of conversions though it was interrupted by imprisonment for 17 months during a war between England and Burma from 1824-1825.
In this selection, Judson shows that his accomplishments did not come at the expense of prayer. While the specific routine he recommends is not feasible for all believers, the spirit behind such a regimen is surely a key to depth and endurance in ministry.
Arrange thy affairs, if possible, so that thou canst leisurely devote two or three hours every day, not merely to devotional exercises, but to the very act of secret prayer and communion with God. Endeavor, seven times a day, to withdraw from business and company, and lift up thy soul to God in private retirement. Begin the day by rising after midnight and devoting some time, amid the silence and darkness of the night, to this sacred work. Let the hour of opening dawn find thee at the same work; let the hours of nine, twelve, three, six, and nine at night witness the same. Be resolute in this course. Make all practicable sacrifices to maintain it. Consider that thy time is short, and that business and company must not be allowed to rob thee of thy God. At least, remember the morning, noon, and night seasons, and the season after midnight, if not detrimental to thy health.1
1. Edward Judson, The Life of Adoniram Judson (New York: Randolph and Co., 1883), 572.
Catch Overall Plan:
- Two to three hours a day in prayer
- Spread out over 7 separate times.
- Midnight –implies going to bed before and rising to pray.
- 6 AM –rising with the sun.
- 9 AM
- 12 Noon
- 3 PM
- 6 PM
- 9 PM
I have been studying the Psalms this year and have seen evidence of most of these times. Not finished my study, and I will blog about it sometime in 2014, but it seems like a good experimental plan for a pastor. Not because there is some magic to the Judson’s plan but because there is some wisdom in following the example of a man so mightily used of God.