TV or Prayer?


I had recently read an excerpt from The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson that was phenomenal. I thought I would share it with you:

“How much time do I spend in front of that screen each night?” I wondered. “A couple of hours, at least. What would happen, Lord, if I sold that TV set and spent that time praying?” I was the only one in the family who ever watched TV anyway.

What would happen if I spent two hours every single night in prayer? It was an exhilarating idea. Substitute prayer for television, and see what happened.

Right away I thought of objections to the idea. I was tired at night. I needed the relaxation and change of pace. Television was part of our culture; it wasn’t good for a minister to be out of touch with what people were seeing and talking about.

I got up from my chair and turned out the lights and stood at my window looking out over the moonlit hills. Then I put another fleece before the Lord, one that was destined to change my life. I made it pretty hard on God, it seemed to me, because I really didn’t want to give up television.

“Jesus”, I said, “I need some help deciding this thing, so here’s what I’m asking of you. I’m going to put an ad for that set in the paper. If you’re behind this idea, let a buyer appear right away. Let him appear within an hour … within half an hour … after the paper gets on the streets.”

When I told my wife, Gwen, about my decision next morning, she was unimpressed. “Half an hour!” she said. “Sounds to me, Dave Wilkerson, like you don’t want to do all that praying.”

Gwen had a point, but I put the ad in the paper anyhow. It was a comical scene in our living room after the paper appeared. I sat on the sofa with the television set looking at me from one side, the children and Gwen looking at me from another, and my eyes on a great big alarm clock beside the telephone.

Twenty-nine minutes passed by the clock. “Well, Gwen,” I said, “it looks like you’re right. I guess I won’t have to …” the telephone rang. I picked it up slowly, looking at Gwen. “You have a TV set for sale?” a man’s voice asked. “That’s right, an RCA in good condition. Nineteen-inch screen, two years old.”

“How much do you want for it?”

“One hundred dollars,” I said quickly. I hadn’t thought about what to ask for it until that moment.

“I’ll take it,” the man said, just like that.

“You don’t even want to look at it?”

“No. Have it ready in fifteen minutes. I’ll bring the money.”

My life has not been the same since.

Had David Wilkerson not given himself to prayer that needed God’s call to go to New York, Teen Challenge would never have happened. Since that time the ministry of Teen Challenge has transformed hundreds of thousands of lives. Around the world today and every day, men and women are currently in a center being set free by the power of Christ.

What are you willing to give up to spend a little more time in prayer in order to see God move in you life?

I Thessalonians 5:17

Pray without ceasing

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