Watchman Nee (1903-1973) served the Lord by raising up many churches in mainland China, his homeland. He spent the last twenty years of his life in a communist prison camp in China.
Each time I travel, I meet about a thousand believers, but less than three of the thousand read the Bible and pray daily. No wonder the church is weak and the believers backslide.
“Too busy, too busy,” “Busy from morning till night,” “Where can I find time to read the Bible and pray?” Such are the explanations (excuses?) given by these many believers who fail in this daily spiritual exercise. Yet who of us is not busy in his life? It is just a matter of priority. “Too busy,” but we still find time to eat three meals a day! It is not because of busyness that we do not eat and drink for a whole year. If God’s children truly know that “man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that proceeds out through the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4), then no matter how busy they are, they ought to at least be willing to forego one meal and set that time aside for Bible reading and prayer.
Are all of us really so busy? We have time to chat and to entertain. I am afraid that even if we did have the time we would not spend it in reading the Bible and praying!
“How can I read the Bible if I do not understand?” This is another so-called explanation I hear. Yet how can you understand if you do not read?
“How can I pray, not knowing how to pray?“ Yet, how can you know how to pray if you do not pray?
The best time for reading and praying is the morning. But who can rise early and have morning watch if he is busy all the day and has to sleep in late? What does it profit to have morning watch only as a routine? By carefully observing a Christian’s Bible reading and prayer life, we can tell his spiritual condition.
Let me ask, do you have morning watch? Do you read and pray? How much time out of the day do you come to God, read the Bible and pray? What help do you derive if you know you should have morning watch, read and pray, and yet you do not practice it?
Now is the time: the end of all things is near, even at the doors (Mark 13:29). From this day onward may you decide to commune with God, to read and pray as the first thing you do upon rising from your bed. If you have another period of leisure in the day, use some or all of it also to commune with God by reading His word and praying to Him.
Adapted from Take Heed. by Watchman Nee. Christian Fellowship Publishers, Inc., New York, NY, 1991, pp. 201-203.