Could You Not Tarry: Learning the Joy of Prayer

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It would be impossible to calculate the failures, the ruined reputations, the defeats, the broken homes and the other multiplied tragedies that could have been avoided if believers had prayed. It would be impossible to measure the destruction that could have been turned and the judgment that might have been averted if only God's people had taken the time to pray. I am guilty, and so are you. But I didn't write this book to send anybody on a guilt trip. I wrote it because I know what it's like to be haunted by the call to pray, and because I know what it's like to let interruptions, fatigue and pressures drown out that call.

You see, God haunted me for six years with the call to pray before I finally obeyed His plea to tarry with Him one hour each day in prayer. But when I did so, my life and ministry were revolutionized. I want to make you a promise: Something supernatural happens when you pray an hour a day. It does not happen overnight, but slowly, almost imperceptibly, the desire to pray becomes firmly planted in the soil of your heart by the Spirit of God. This desire crowds out the weeds of apathy and neglect, and matures into the discipline to pray. Then one day you discover that prayer is no longer just a duty or drudgery; instead, the discipline of prayer has borne the fruit of delight.

You find yourself eagerly longing for your daily time with God. The supernatural work of prayer continues and begins to possess and reshape every area of your life. You notice that your heart is no longer devoid of the presence and promises of God. You discover how to set, maintain and pray God's priorities in your life; you learn how to appropriate God's provision for your needs.

Life moves into a new dimension as you begin to experience greater joy and fulfillment in your relationships with people. And as you begin to walk, not in the realm of the flesh, but in the realm of the Spirit, you discover how to move in the power of God and stand in the victory Jesus has won for you. How do I know? I know because that is what happened to me as I obeyed the call to pray.

I know because that is what happened to the believers after Christ's ascension. Think about it: What transformed the slumbering disciples, disheartened believers and vacillating followers pictured in the final chapters of the Gospels into the determined, driving, unified army of the book of Acts? What made them into a mighty, spiritual army that seized difficulties and turned them into opportunities; an army characterized by clear-headed, incisive decisions instead of foggy thinking and confusion; an army that, in one generation, turned the world upside down for Jesus Christ?

Prayer that unleashed the power of God and tapped into His infinite resources. What will transform the slumbering disciples, disheartened believers and vacillating followers today into a mighty, marching army with deliverance as its song and healing in its hands? Prayer that snatches the victories Jesus won for us out of Satan's greedy clutches. Prayer that storms the gates of hell. If you do not consistently pray one full hour every day but would like to learn how, take the prayer secrets the Holy Spirit has taught me on my knees and begin to practice them. As you learn to pray the way Jesus taught us to pray, your prayer life will no longer be a frustrating, hit-or-miss experience; instead, tarrying with the Lord an hour in prayer will actually become easy and natural.

Won't you bow your head right now and pray: Jesus, plant in my heart the desire to pray. Enable me to develop a daily consistent time of prayer. Transform prayer from a duty to a delight. Make me a mighty warrior in Your prayer army? Did you pray that prayer? Did you mean it? Then you'd better get your uniform out of mothballs, polish those brass buttons and spitshine your boots because, soldier, God's army is getting ready to march.

Iwas 17 years old in when the heavy doors of the psychiatric ward of Mother Frances Hospital in Tyler, Texas, closed and locked behind me. I had a brand new Oldsmobile convertible and a beautiful girl friend; I was an all-state golfer with a scholarship; I lived in a 5,square-foot house. The entire second floor was mine—two bedrooms, two baths and a study. I had a lot of stuff.

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But I went stark-raving crazy in that environment because I had everything on the outside and nothing on the inside. Weeks before, I had sought help from my dad, who had made his money in the oil and gas business in East Texas. Help me, Daddy! I begged. But my father was an alcoholic who didn't know Jesus; his heart was as empty as mine.

All he did was stare at me for a moment in disbelief, then exclaim in exasperation, Larry, any kid who has everything you've got and is depressed has got to be on dope. My mother, who was a Christian, rushed to my defense. My son wouldn't get on dope, she retorted, shocked by my father's accusation.

tarry not Manual

He must have a brain tumor or something. During this terrible time of depression, I went to church one Sunday morning looking for something real. I needed help so badly that at the end of the service I walked to the front of the church—while all my buddies who were seated on the back row watched. I said to the pastor, Sir, have you got anything for me? I'm losing my mind, and I don't know what's wrong. Do you know what the pastor did? He just patted me on the shoulder and whispered reassuringly, You'll be all right, son. You're a good boy. Here, fill out this card.

Could You Not Tarry One Hour? - Learning the Joy of Prayer (1987)

All Daddy had to offer me was money, and all the church had for me was a card to fill out. I didn't know anywhere else to turn, so when my mother kept insisting that something must be physically wrong with me, I gave in and went to the doctor.

Lasting Joy

After extensive tests revealed no physical reason for my deep emotional problems, I was admitted to a hospital psychiatric ward, and the rounds of psychological examinations began. Soon the doctor walked into my room and said in an understanding tone, You're depressed, aren't you? These will help. He handed me four tranquilizers, and the next thing I knew, every four hours someone brought me four little pills.

Satisfying Joy

That did it: I lost it. The last lights of reality flickered out, and the fog rolled in. The doctors called it a nervous breakdown, but in reality it was a transgression breakdown. I was a sinner who didn't understand Christ's atonement for sin. I didn't know life could have purpose.

For six weeks in that ward I didn't even see the sun. Part of the time I lay in a drugged stupor with my eyes rolled back in my head.

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When I would come to, I thought the black lady cleaning the floor was my mother and that the patient across the hall was the doctor. There I was, the heir to a fortune, and I had lost my mind. My grief-stricken parents reluctantly made reservations at the state mental hospital so I could be committed. But before I could be transferred, one day I strayed out of my room into the hall, where I noticed a crucifix. Being somewhat curious, I removed it from the wall and managed to focus my eyes and thoughts long enough to make out its Latin inscription, INRI.

Confused, I wandered along the corridors of that Catholic hospital, collecting crucifixes and pondering those puzzling letters. Of course when the nuns spied me with the crucifixes clutched to my chest, they rushed forward to retrieve them. With the sisters in hot pursuit, I broke into a run, and my befuddled muttering amplified into a bewildered wail, loud enough for the whole world to hear: His name is not Henry…His name is not Henry! Check out our eBook FAQs. Most people don't enjoy prayer.

Knowing the necessity and value of prayer isn't necessarily enough to make it a pleasant task. This best-selling book can how you how to make the time you spend with God each day a delightful one. Lea shares the teaching and experiences that have helped him to transform his prayer life from drudgery to delight. It can do the same for yours. Using the Lord's prayer as a model, Lea will show you how to spend an hour each day in prayer and find joy in it. Learning to "tarry one hour" will help you discover a way of entering into God's presence that will change your life. This has radically transformed our state resulting in approximately 50, salvations.

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