Friday, January 14, 2011
~ "There's a place for us..."
And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. (Matt 1:35)
Even Jesus needed a quite place to pray. Sometimes, even in our own isolation, we need to get to a place where we CAN pray. When I was young, in my late teens and early twenties, I would hop in the car and take a ride to the beach (it was only about 3 miles from my house). In the dead of winter I would drive down there, park my car, get out and sit on the jetty and just talk to God. I would tell him what was bothering me, tell him what it was I needed and he would listen. The silence was interrupted only by the crashing waves along the shoreline. Sometimes I really miss those nights because it was in those moments that I truly felt the presence of God around me.
I don't always "feel" his presence around me, but I know that the Holy Spirit is there. My faith tells me so. Sometimes I get to a place where I cannot stay focused on my prayer time, where the emotional and physical exhaustion takes over and the prayer that comes out is "God, I just can't right now - please help me". I am never out of his sight. He understands and knows that eventually, whatever is going on in my life that is keeping me from focusing, will pass. It always does. I don't have to be perfect before him. My words do not have to be eloquent when I pray. Sometimes they are fragmented thoughts, at best! It's how I present myself to him when I pray - humbled and unworthy of all he's done for me.
In those moments when you cannot find the words and you stumble through the prayers you are offering, remember that he knows what it is you want to say. Don't turn away because you have a few days connected in which you have not been able to offer your prayers and praises in the way you have become accustomed. Continue to give him what you are able to and, in time, the rest will follow. As I've said before, he knows your heart - he knows that "the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak".
Search out that place that you need to find to be alone with him in prayer. Let the things that are troubling you fall away. Put the images of your past to rest and focus on the day ahead of you. He has a greater plan for you today! Accept it with the humblest heart you can summon and he will know you have done the very best you can!
[Suggested Scripture reading for January 14, 2011 - Job 25-27]
(photo by Sandra Wood)