But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer. (Luke 5:16)
Round and round my pen went in an ever darkening circle around this verse in my Bible. This is what Luke said about Jesus (also 6:12, 11:1), as did Matthew (14:23, 26:44), Mark (1:35, 45; 3:13; 6:46, 14:32) and John.
If it is said of Jesus that he withdrew often to pray, will the same be said about me? Everyone we know has an opinion about us if asked. What will they say we often do? This is my guess about what my family will remember about me.
This is how my family finds me most often at home. I grade, create assignments, respond to students, attend online meetings, write blogs. In kindergarten I placed a nightstand in front of my bedroom window to “write a book” while seeing neighborhood kids playing outside in our backyard. Yes, kindergarten. I have come by a life of living in a desk chair quite honestly. It is always been a comfortable place.
But Laurie often…spent time with Jesus.
If I am not at my desk, I think my family will also remember me in my easy chairs — one has always been in the office and bedroom. It’s where my kids can sit to talk with me if they enter while I am at my desk. Ninety-nine percent of the time if I am in one of those chairs, I am reading a book about Jesus, doing a Bible study, writing in my thank you journal, or my praying through my prayer list.
But the question of the day is this: Do I pray often enough that people will say, “Laurie often withdrew to pray.” You may be asking if it is fair to expect that we share this commonality with Jesus.
The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. (1 Peter 4:7)
Jesus was 100% God, but He was also 100% man. He modeled for us how to simultaneously live in a limited body of flesh and blood within time and space while living for the Kingdom of God, not Himself.
As we saw last week HERE, He could not do it without people interrupting Him constantly. This week we also see He could not do it without consistent prayer.
God commands us above all else to love God and love people (Matthew 22:37-39).
It seems that in order to heed these two commands, we will need to pray hard in order to stay in close relationship with God, and we will need the release of God’s power that prayer supplies to be in relationships with people.
If Jesus had to pray, so must we.
There are lists of what I hope my family will say (listened long, worked hard, loved sacrificially, gave generously). There is a list of what I wish they would say, but they may not (laughed, relaxed, cooked great meals). There is a list of things they may say that will make me sad (did not spend enough time outdoors, took life too seriously, prone to a harsh tone, didn’t invite enough people to the house).
But this week I have a heart to ask of God that after I die, my husband says his wife often prayed; my kids say their mom often prayed; and my friends say Laurie often prayed.
After writing this much of the blog I decided spur of the moment to text a quick survey to my family: Fill in the blank. Laurie often _______________. If someone asks what your mom does often, what would you say? I got three answers back from each that are good to know. Shouldn’t we all check in periodically so we can tweak our course in life and keep track of the mark we are making? Consider giving it a try.
Thankfully, one child sent, “Prays for others,” and another said, “Prays.”
Thank you, God.
I am also glad no one submitted, “She is at her desk grading papers.” The grace of God abounds!
Picture Explanation: Hubby had a birthday this week. The celebration was broken up into pieces and spanned several days. That’s how it is sometimes — receiving gifts and cards in the mail from those that live far away and accommodating the various locations and schedules of people who live nearby.
I decorated the house early and stretched the celebration from Thursday through Saturday. I completely missed our son’s gift exchange with his dad before school one morning, so no photo. One daughter dropped in after work to surprise her daddy. We traveled to watch another daughter handed her gift to her dad from the sidelines of a professional indoor soccer game.
I love how God weaves things together on the fly. My husband was celebrated. I am grateful to do life at his side.
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