😎🐫🎤 Christ’s peace and presence be with you. Continuing my four weeks of Advent focus on four gifts that I am thankful for, this third week I’m focusing on the gift of prayer. Tuesday morning, I read in Mark’s Gospel 14:32-42.
‘They went to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took with him Peter, James, and John, and began to be distressed and agitated. And He said to them, “I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here, and keep awake.” And going a little farther, He threw Himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from Him, He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet, not what I want, but what You want.”
He came and found them asleep; and He said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you may not come into the time of trial; the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again, He went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to Him. He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand.”’
In those few hours of prayer, Jesus showed us what it means to pray with purpose. He wasn’t just praying to check the box. He was giving Himself fully. Prayer comes in many different forms and postures. You can be on your knees, standing with your arms raised, bowed head, a simple glance to heaven, fully prostrate, lying in bed, driving your vehicle, while hiking, sitting at your desk, while completing your work tasks. There is no wrong way, but there are also no short cuts to prayer. There are times when the words flow easily and times in which your mind and spirit are so clouded and turned upside down that you can’t even form a word in prayer. It’s in times like those that learned prayers, such as the Our Father, Hail Mary, St. Michael prayer, etcetera become our support to lean on. But ultimately prayer is communication with God, Father, Son, and Spirit.
Payer is part of my daily life. Do I pray unceasingly as we are instructed in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”? No, I don’t. Do I desire to be in prayer (conversation) with God more? I do. So then the question is…What am I willing to do to more thoroughly utilize the time I have been granted to keep in conversation with God. How can I turn every action, thought, and word into a prayer (conversation) of rejoicing, praise, thanksgiving, counsel seeking, learning, etcetera, so that I am fully prepared, mind, body, and spirit to battle that which I will encounter? In prayer we are never alone. Never alone.
Prayer is a precious gift because it is the gift of one-on-one time with the Lord. And for this, I am eternally thankful.
Bless others and be blessed.
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#SanctusReal – Pray