PREPARING TO PRAY
How often do you wish for just a few moments of peace? Maybe your world is dominated by the tyranny of your email inbox, or little children pulling at your shirt all day long. Maybe you feel the crushing pressure of culture’s demands to have the perfect looks, education and career, all while curating the perfect social media feed with interestingly beautiful and witty posts for the world’s approval. Keep up.
Noise occurs daily in relentless succession, numbing us with extreme emotions, dotted with political arguments, news about deeply broken parts of culture, followed by the latest viral video sensation of the world’s cutest tiny baby sloth eating lettuce to a bouncy ukulele soundtrack.
How do you hear God in all of this?
From now until Easter, we invite you to take a few minutes every day to withdraw from the noise. Let’s discover what’s happening in our hearts and focus in on Jesus. As we lean in to Jesus, we discover that he is already leaning in to meet us. He’s available to love us, to listen to us, to heal us, and to speak to us.
Jesus taught his disciples to prepare to pray.
“But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6).
If we don’t take a few minutes to shut out the world around us, we may find our prayer life reduced to throwing up quick pleas for help on the fly as we pursue our own agendas, just hoping God will get on board with our plans. Jesus teaches us how to have a far more intimate kind of relationship with God.
In Luke 9:28, Jesus withdrew from the crowds to pray. He was at the height of fame, and people traveled from all around to hear his teaching, for healing and miracles, and some were attracted by the exciting spectacle. He was literally surrounded by crowds, their needs and noise pressing in on him physically. In order to connect with his Father, he had to escape it all.
How would you follow Jesus’ example of getting away to pray? How do you unplug from it all?
Maybe it’s as simple as putting your phone in the next room while you pray, or asking that you not be disturbed. You might silence ambient noise by putting on headphones and focusing your mind with some worship music. Maybe you take a walk, or maybe you are lucky enough to have a designated prayer space where you go and meet with God.
Let’s take a few minutes today to get away, silence the distractions, and draw near to God. He is already drawing near to you.
- Pray that God makes you hungry to pray.
- Pray that God wakes your heart to an awareness of him.
- Pray that this Easter season, you will see your faith and your relationship with Jesus grow.
- Pray that God helps you find ways to get away and be with him, even when you are surrounded by busy.