When a Command is Also an Invitation

Have you ever considered the difference between an invitation and a command?

A command is an order that must be obeyed; an invitation is a request for your time. A command is strict, stern; an invitation is gentle, warm, friendly. The two, generally speaking, are quite different. And yet both seem to blend into one entity in God’s gentle, stern, warm, uncompromising call to the believer: pray.

That’s a call that I’ve heard more and more distinctly in my own life over the past several weeks. The subject of prayer has shown up in my devotions; my husband has become intensely serious about prayer; it has cropped up in sermons or Sunday School lessons at church. Eventually I started catching on. God was inviting me to talk to Him; He was commanding me to pray. And the call has been growing stronger and stronger in my heart as the days pass.

I had exhausted all my excuses: “I’m too busy to spend that much time praying.” “I pray before bed…” “One of these days I’ll get to it.” “I spend time in my Bible every day. Isn’t that enough?”

It was time to make a decision- to obey, to accept.

So little by little I’ve begun to take action. No time during such-and-such a day? I’ll get up early then. Baby’s taking a nap? I can spend some of that time alone to pray! Not sure what to pray about? Look for ideas and personalize them.

It’s been a week and a half, but I can already sense how life has changed for me. My devotions are more interesting. I have had a much better attitude in general. I’ve been empowered to resist stress and frustration. My relationship with my husband seems a little fresher. I have a sense of peace that used to be so elusive.

Why haven’t I done this sooner?

I have not arrived- not by any means, and I’m still adjusting my life and routines to make more time for prayer. But, as someone who is in the midst of prayer-revival right now, may I ask how your prayer life is? What can you do to improve it?

My changes only came when I stopped saying “someday” and declared “today!” They happened when my “I don’t know what to say,” was replaced with “I’ll learn as I go along.” They happened when I said, “Yes, Lord,” and when I decided to be done with procrastination. I urge you to do the same! Take a few minutes- even if it’s hard- to really talk to God. Make a plan of action, a list of whom and what to pray for. Get yourself a cute journal if it helps! Just try it. Just pray.

“Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.” -Psalms‬ ‭55:17‬ ‭

2 thoughts on “When a Command is Also an Invitation

    1. Definitely! But,odd as it sounds, I found myself using that verse as an excuse personally! I would pray little 30 second prayers as I threw in a load of laundry, or talk to God for a minute or two while I washed up some dishes, and I told myself I prayed all the time. What was missing was a separate, set apart time to focus on God only. And when I finally did it, I realized how much I needed that and how much I had been missing it. I’m grateful for God’s patience when I’m slow to learn!
      Thank you for reaching out and commenting!

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