Heavenly Father, thank you for this life. For the gifts and the challenges, for the graces and disappointments. Thank you for all of the ways you are with me and for me. May my life be a reflection of your grace to all those around me.
Mark 6:45-52. Read it through at least three times. Once you land on a phrase that you want to meditate on, re-read that phrase or sentence a few more times. Let it sink in.
For me tonight, the phrase to reflect on is, “And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray.” Prayer played such a huge role in Jesus’s life. I want it to be even more prevalent in my life as well. I believe in the power of prayer. I have seen prayer change people, soften hearts, open eyes, and awaken a holy longing. I have seen God heal through prayer.
So why don’t I pray more?
I really wonder what prayer was like for Jesus. What was it like for him to go off somewhere, alone with the Father? For me, such times of prayer are times of refreshing. I am renewed and my heart is filled up with faith through prayer. When I pray the word of God, hope arises. When I pray prayers of intercession for others, my love for them grows.
Weeks ago, I was with a co-worker who was going through something really hard, and I suggested that we pray. She does not follow the same God I do, but she agreed, and after I had prayed for her, she was quite moved. I saw and felt the real, living power of prayer. The thing we were praying for had a great outcome, by God’s grace, and to this day, she still talks about how powerful that experience was.
In a busy life in which I (and I know many of you reading) wear lots of “hats,” prayer often gets relegated to meals and times of trauma. But what if prayer—including adoration, confession, thanksgiving, and intercession—is part of the rhythm of our days?
Do you pray daily? Jesus’s example to us is profound: even the very Son of God himself needed to pray! How much more so do we?! If daily prayer is not part of your regular rhythm of life, start small—perhaps begin by praying for yourself, one family member, one friend, and one person you don’t like (it’s amazing how my heart changes toward a person when I start praying for them!) Compassion, empathy and even love will flow as you pray. Perhaps you can “pray the news” – read the headlines and just lift up each situation to God. There are many guides for prayer, but the point is to pray. Begin now!