But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. My mouth will tell of your righteous acts and of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
- Psalm 71.14, 15
At one time he was living alone in that hollow rock, separated from the society of others and, as was his custom, dwelling in hidden places or remotely in the wilderness, so that when the feasts of the Lord or saints’ days came, he might, with his mind wholly free from disquieting cares, devote himself to prayer, and might be ready for every religious thought.
- Jonas, Life of St. Columban, Italian, 7th century
There is, I believe, a direct correlation between the amount and fervor or our prayers and the consistency with which we talk to others about the Lord.
The more we devote ourselves to prayer, exercising our souls and voices in praise, thanks, adoration, supplication, intercession, and confession, the better prepared we will be in mind, heart, and conscience to make the most of every opportunity to talk to men about God.
Prayer is a kind of training-ground for conversation, especially Gospel conversations. If we talk well and often with God, we will talk well and often with men about God. Columbanus knew this, and so he spent a great deal of time alone with the Lord in prayer. In prayer he sorted out his thoughts, reinforced his love for God, trained his tongue in spiritual truths, and discerned the Lord’s leading in his life. He was a man ready for every good work – and consistent in it – in no small part because he was such a man of prayer.
We have little time for prayer in our day, so it's not surprising that we also do very little talking with men about our God and His glorious saving plan.
Prayer is the most foundational of all Christian disciplines, the most characteristic aspect of the life of a believer. Work hard at prayer and you will find that God uses that investment to sort out so much else about your walk with Him.
If you want to fish well and diligently for men, spend time alone with God in prayer. Talk often with God, and you will talk more readily with men.
Psalm 6.1-4 (Regent Square: “Angels from the Realms of Glory”)
Shout for joy to God, all people, sing the glory of His Name!
Give Him glorious praise and say, “How great Your pow’r and great Your fame!
All the earth shall worship gladly as they praise Your glorious Name!”
Lord, use my prayers to train my heart, focus my mind, establish my priorities, and prepare my mouth to declare your excellencies to the people I see today.