When the last of the granola bars had been packed, we were ready to leave for what we hoped would be our best trip ever. When we had our family camp, sometimes I would take my wife and grandchildren on a day trip to a secluded spot in a national forest. The special thing about this place was the fact that we could get away from everyone else and just be alone as a family.

Imagine our surprise when we arrived at the campground only to find another family camped out in our favorite spot. My oldest granddaughter, Amy, half-jokingly asked me, “Do you want me to go and throw them out?”

I hadn’t planned to get in a confrontation with anyone on this vacation, so I said no. After all, we were in a national forest, and we didn’t own the place — so we would have to share it with everyone else.

Many of the details involved in planning family trips are unpredictable and can lead to disappointment, but we will never be disappointed when we plan to meet with God in prayer. We don’t have to worry about someone taking our favorite spot, because we can pray anywhere. We don’t have to wait until the “season” ends and the “park” isn’t as crowded, because we can talk with God at any time. The moment we open our mouths and direct the thoughts in our hearts toward God, we open the door to spiritual benefits. Prayer is the pulse of the soul.

Christian, do you pray? I’m not referring to saying a quick prayer for your food before each meal. I’m talking about setting aside regular time with God. You can get in His presence at home, at work, in the car, or even in the hospital. He’s available for you to talk with at all hours of the day. Once you start spending time with Him, you’ll want to keep coming back for more. On your knees, you will find the best vacation spot in the whole world.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder