Working 17-hour days, Michael Milken epitomized an age of unrelenting ambition. Peddling high-risk, high-profit “junk” bonds, he made millions in the 1980s. Milken despised sleep. It interfered with making money. Tens of thousands of business men emulated his work ethic.
But now, this do-without-sleep mentality is totally discredited. Today high-flying execs extol a good eight-hour night of Zzzs. Sleep doctors warn that minimizing sleep cuts your lifespan. Bed manufacturers boast about the latest technology. If the 80s generation thought they could skip sleep, their credo is debunked.
So here´s the comparison. Just as you can´t skimp on sleep without consequences, so too you can´t scrimp prayer. We are the hurry, worry, and scurry nation. With long to-do lists, prayer seems expendable compared to “urgent” priorities.
Actually, the truth is the opposite. Neglect all your ministerial work before neglecting prayer. Just as sound sleep leads to health and enhanced performance, so too your prayer time — how ever long it is — can´t slacken.
Prayer is God working for you. Lack of prayer is you working for you. If you work, it may not work out. But when God works, nothing can impede.
In 1990, Milken plea-bargained guilty to six counts of securities and tax violations. He paid $200 million in fines and served 22 months in prison. He is now a philanthropist.
Milken´s anti-sleep motto fell into disgrace with him. Remember the “junk bond king” offers “junk.” Don´t junk prayer.