Get Alone With God

by Brent Thompson

Most days, 83-year-old Don Miller rises at 4 a.m., in the cool, still half-light of the Texas dawn and goes out to his garden to meet with his Father. This is his prayer time—though he does not make it out to the garden at 4 a.m. with as much regularity as in years past. But regardless of what time he awakens, he starts and ends every day with prayer. In fact, he tithes a portion of every day in prayer. Ten percent, or roughly 2 hours and 40 minutes of each day, is given over to time with God in prayer.

"Prayer is the intimate communication between the heavenly Father and His child," Miller explained to pastors attending a Southern Baptist Convention conference in Nashville June 19. "It has got to go both ways."

At the conference, Miller explained some of the basics for effective prayer.

"Keep prayer simple. Don't complicate it."

"Real prayer is the language of loneliness," he said, describing how Jesus would "get alone" with God (Luke 9:18). When one is alone with God, he elaborated, you no longer hear airplanes, trains, or barking dogs. "He and I are alone. He hears me and I hear Him." "I call this insulated praying,'" he added.

"We all need to get alone with Him. Turn off the TV set. Nothing but trash comes off those tubes. Nothing else really matters, but Him."

Miller, founder of Bible-Based Ministries, said his ministry is about three things: "It is about prayer, evangelism, and growing Christians in their faith..... More is said about prayer in the Bible, but it seems to be the least used or understood thing among Christians."

He has identified 750 passages of Scripture that relate to prayer, evangelism and growth. In a Bible, Miller has marked 250 verses related to each discipline. Miller conducts Bible-Based Ministries prayer conferences at churches, usually over the course of three or four days. He takes conferees through all 750 verses over the course of the conference.

Miller has been a man of prayer for more than 60 years, but his walk with God did not begin until he was grown man. He was born on March 9, 1922, in a farmhouse near Bloomsburg, Penn. He said his parents were "good people," but not church-goers.

He surrendered to the Lord during World War II, while serving in the U.S. Army Air Force.

Sadly, Miller's parents distanced themselves from him when they learned of his conversion. "They never did understand what had happened to me," he said. But even though Miller's relationship with his earthly father was slackening, his new relationship with the heavenly Father more than filled the void.

After surviving a vehicle accident in which he suffered a broken back and severe head injuries, Miller resolved to rebuild his lost memory by memorizing Scripture passages. Slowly, God restored his memories. Miller said that memorization works the brain much like exercise works muscles. Scripture memorization has been a key ingredient in his ministry and teaching ever since.

During his recuperation in Monroe, Louisiana, he met his wife-to-be, Libby. Each had been asking God for a believing spouse. Libby now travels with him wherever he goes. "Always together," he said. "And not once has a church ever had to pay for her airfare; God has always provided a way for her to travel with me."

When asked for the secret to their long and loving relationship—they celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary this summer—Libby is quick to reply. "Prayer," she said. "We start and end each day with prayer together. Prayer has made our marriage sweeter and stronger each year."

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