“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into” (Luke 12:39).

It is in the leisure hours, when we are free from constraint and observation, that we are more apt to reveal what is truly important to us. In the spiritual life, this is true as well. When we are involved in systematic work, our time for prayer and Bible study is often kept regularly. When extended periods of leisure occur and we are free to do as we wish, we find that Bible study and fellowship with God in prayer do not come so naturally. And so times of leisure become a test of character, the proof as to whether one could say with Job, “I have treasured the words of his mouth more than my daily bread” (23:12).

The relaxation of regular habits and the subtle thought that we are at liberty to do as we please set many a person back in their Christian life. Just as we need to eat regular meals and breathe fresh air, so we need to eat the daily bread of life and breathe the air of heaven. The morning devotional hour is an unspeakable privilege and pleasure. Fellowship with God, abiding in Christ, loving His Word and mediating on it throughout the day is life and strength to the Christian. God has created and redeemed us so that through us He may shine His light and life and love upon the people around us. In order to do this, we need to be in daily communication with the fountain of light.

Adapted from Power in Prayer by A. Murray