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SERMON: Sweet Half Hour of Prayer

Have you ever found yourself singing the hymn “Sweet Hour of Prayer” and wondered if you should be humming it instead?

How many of us have an hour to pray? Though it would be sweet, can we really find that much time in a day or even a week to commit solely to prayer?

These words of Christ to His sleeping disciples come to mind like words cutting deep: “Could you not watch with me one hour?” (Matthew 26:40)

Think of all the time Christ spent communing with His Father, sometimes entire nights after a weary day of healing and teaching. No wonder He said, “I do always those things that please Him.” (John 8:29)

He knew the Father’s heart.
He knew His will.
He ached where the Father ached.
He grieved where the Spirit grieved.
He rejoiced over the things that gladdened the heart of God.

Because He prayed.

He was God Himself. And yet He prayed.
He was man, too. Yet He found sweet hours for prayer.

What if you and I found time this week for a “sweet HALF hour of prayer”?

My guess is that we’ll find that half hour so sweet, we’ll soon try two back to back.

And turn from hummers of the hymn to singers full of gladness at the sweetness of communion.

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
That calls me from a world of care,
And bids me at my Father’s throne,
Make all my wants and wishes known!
In seasons of distress and grief,
My soul has often found relief,
And oft escaped the tempter’s snare,
By thy return, sweet hour of prayer.

Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer,
Thy wings shall my petition bear
To him, whose truth and faithfulness
Engage the waiting soul to bless;
And since he bids me seek his face,
Believe his word, and trust his grace,
I’ll cast on him my ev’ry care,
And wait for thee, sweet hour of prayer.

by Bethany Hayes

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