SAFELY TAKING OFF
IT HAS BEEN SAID that
the most dangerous part in flying an airplane is in taking off and landing.
Once the aircraft is airborne the danger is minimized until the plane gets
ready to come down. Therefore, undivided attention and care especially
must be taken in taking off and landing.
Drawing from this illustration, here is a suggestion that we think
would greatly augment your spiritual well being as a Christian (although
the Bible is not specific about the details of this). The first thing in
the morning upon awaking and arising, thoughtfully and prayerfully read
a chapter (or more) in the Bible—and then pray. Through the Bible God is
talking to us, and in praying we are talking to God. Then at the end of
the day the last thing before retiring for sleep, again read a chapter
from the Bible and pray. By doing this we will get our day focused and
off to a good start, and at the end of the day bring it to a good conclusion.
Bible reading and prayer, stationed there at the entrance and exit of our
day, are like sentries guarding our spiritual well being. Another day has
been successfully and safely lived as a Christian.
David wrote, "Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and
cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice" (Psalms 55:17). Of Daniel it says
that "he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave
thanks before his God" (Daniel 6:10). Traditionally the Jews looked upon
the third hour (9 o’clock), the sixth hour (12 o’clock) and the ninth hour
(3 o’clock) as the "hour of prayer," and Christians in the early days of
the church seem to have gone along with this line of thought (Acts 3:1;
10:9). Cornelius, of whom it says that he "prayed to God always," seems
to have adapted this Jewish pattern (Acts 10:2-4,30). Paul said to "pray
without ceasing" (1 Thessalonians 5:17). Thus by having a regular regimen
of prayer, as well as praying when we are especially inclined to pray,
we are doing this. The Bible is not specific in details by way of command.
In a larger context the apostle Paul wrote, "I exhort therefore that,
first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving
of thanks be made..." (1 Timothy 2:1). Prayer should come first. Jesus
first prayed before choosing the twelve apostles (Luke 6:12-16). He prayed
in the Garden of Gethsemene before his crucifixion. In most of his epistles
Paul first mentions that he is praying for the people. It has been said,
"Until a Christian has prayed, the most important thing that a Christian
can do is to pray." This is in keeping with the words of our Lord when
he said to "seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness…" (Matthew
6:33). We are doing this when we start the day with Bible reading and prayer.
Therefore, by being aware of these spiritual aerodynamics, and practicing
what we have just written, we can enter the day with calm assurance. At
the close of the day we can thank the Lord for a safe and successful flight.