Christen writes for the Engage Blog on Bible.org on the 4th Monday of every month. Check the original post here.
“Babe, have you been saturating our efforts in prayer?” my husband inquired. Of course, I wanted to say yes-1 Thessalonians 5:17tells us to pray without ceasing but If we are all honest with ourselves we could be doing much better with our prayer lives. “Saturate,” I thought, “that’s a strange way to describe prayer.” But as I continued to mull over my husband’s question I realized that prayer and the concept of saturation were interrelated. As a busy mom of three, I am no stranger to saturation. A good soaker tub, sprinkles of Himalayan Pink Salt, and bubble bath have become my best friends. My husband is aware that bath time is a place of rescue for me. I am unreachable during my “me time.” I close the door, blast my Brazilian Samba music, and float away. While my husband doesn’t know the exact sequence of my bath time routine, he does know that it is a priority, it’s immersive, it is thorough.
“We have to saturate the mission in prayer just as you saturate yourself during bath time.”
My husband and I are full-time missionaries in the inner city. With much joy, we schedule meetings, send out emails and call churches until our fingers are numb. However, like anything we do, it is easy to get bogged down by minutia and become weary in well doing (Galatians 6:9). When I become weary in the physical it is a sign to invoke the sacred ritual of a relaxing bath. In the same way, spiritual weariness should indicate that it is time to soak in prayer. Prayer must become our number one method of attack against the evils that plague our world. Think about the miracle that is prayer! This power allows you and I as created beings to communicate with the eternally existent God of the universe! What a privilege it is to be able to boldly approach the throne of grace through prayer (Hebrews 4:16)! Prayer is such a mighty tool in our arsenal yet for a vast number of us it is underutilized.
I believe that a lack of prayer comes from a false hope in our own sufficiency. Jesus warns us in John 15:5 that apart for him our efforts are worth nothing! If we truly understood this verse we would take the time to soak in Jesus as frequently as possible. For me bath time is a priority, it is immersive and thorough. It gives me an extra boost to take on the task at hand. In the same way, prayer needs to be the priority. Dr. Bill Bright once said, “we must talk to God about men before we talk to men about God.” When we prioritize prayer, we prioritize our dependence on Jesus.
Prayer must be immersive. The term immersion is related to deep absorption, the idea is that the object that is being immersed is all encompassed by the product of immersion, so much so that it takes on the characteristics of that substance. A friend of mine had a little brother that would frequently murmur under his breath throughout the day. After a couple of days of this, she began to worry and asked him what was up. Days prior, her brother learned in Sunday School to pray without ceasing. He took this to mean that you had to pray every moment of the day! The young boy had hilariously taken this verse as literally as possible, but he was on to something-when prayer is immersive it becomes your moment by moment default. Immersing oneself in prayer can be likened to the initial sinking of the body into a hot warm bath: it covers you, it surrounds you, it overwhelms you.
Lastly, prayer is thorough. Anyone who is a lover of baths knows that you don’t just dip in and dip out. A bath is an experience that you savor and is taken with great care. As children many of us recited this familiar bedtime prayer-“now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to the Lord my soul to keep…” While a routine prayer like this can teach the importance of talking to God every day, it may soon prove insufficient to express your thoughts because it is not thorough. There is no better time to spill it all, than when we speak with our Father in Heaven. So let your prayers be thorough, not withholding anything, and prepare to be amazed by the richness of your time spent with God.
In our home, there is a special shelf where I keep my bath products. It’s neatly organized and properly curated. At any given time you may find, salts, and sugar scrubs, bath bombs, and oils. While I have prepared for my moments of rejuvenation in our soaker tub I have not tended to the much needed moments of rejuvenation spent soaking in the presence of our God. I am convicted and thankful for the reminder to saturate everything that I do in prayer. And I hope to one day soon be able to report that I delight in soaking in Jesus as much as I delight soaking in Epsom salt. The good news is, I can even pray that God would help me to saturate myself in prayer because that is the kind of God we serve-nothing is beyond his help even our apathy to seek him out.