Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Without interruptions. Without distractions.
It's not as easy as you'd think. We live in a multi-tasking society. We're too busy to focus on only thing at a time. We're taught that it's a waste of time to be single-minded. How many times have you started to pray, only to realize your mind has sprinted off in a million different directions in the middle of a request? It's so hard to stay focused on our conversation with the Lord when there are so many other things going on in our lives.
Jesus Himself showed us that sometimes we need to practice the discipline of solitude in our prayer life. But you might be surprised when He felt the need to be alone. He practiced solitude after feeding the 5,000. He had just performed this huge miracle of feeding this great crowd of people with only five loaves of bread and two small fishes. And yes, I do take the Bible literally. I do believe He actually performed a miracle. What a mountaintop experience for everyone there! But then the Bible tells us that he sent the disciples away, sent the crowds away and went off to pray. Alone.
Sometimes I think great victories can make us vulnerable. We've had such a great experience that we get careless about the pitfalls that are still out there in our Christian walk. Or we get over-confident. But it's important to recharge your spiritual batteries before they are completely depleted.
He set a great example for those of us so busy caring for others as well. He took care of the immediate needs of those around Him. And then He sent them away. He knew they would need Him again. But since their immediate needs were met, He also knew that He could leave them for a while in order to take care of His own needs. Sure enough, later that night when the disciples were caught in a storm on the Sea of Galilee, Jesus was there for them.
So what about you? What do you do when you need alone time with God? Do you set a timer and tell the kids to leave you alone until it goes off? Do you ship the kids off to the neighbors? Maybe you get to schedule a few days to go away by yourself. (That's my dream!) And how do you maintain your focus while praying? How's your prayer life this morning?
*This post is a small part of the monthly Bible study our church ladies have been having on prayer.