May 20, 2018
Dear Family and Friends,
Scripture documents that a time of silence and solitude was part of Jesus’ regular routine. After stories of Jesus ministering to crowds and healing people, Luke 5:16 tells us that Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. In the following chapter just prior to making a major decision in selecting the twelve apostles, the gospel tells us that Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. Later in chapter nine, Luke tells us that Jesus prayed in private even when his disciples were with him and that he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray. It was on this occasion that the three disciples would see Jesus in his full glory.
Similarly, in the gospel according to Mark, we understand that very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed. He did this just prior to expanding his ministry to go and preach in nearby villages. The Bible also tells us that after Jesus fed the five thousand and sent his disciples ahead of him to Bethsaida, he dismissed the crowd and went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
These examples don’t tell us expressly how Jesus prayed. I wonder if it was extemporaneous, vibrant and full of words; or silent, meditative or centering prayer. Maybe he audibly and/or physically worshipped and praised God, or maybe it was contemplative and reflective prayer. What we do know is that Jesus regularly took time apart from his ministry, service and justice work for renewal and centering, for discernment and preparation. Although he was fully God, He was also fully human. In order for Jesus to have the strength to minister continually, He had to make prayer a priority. Is prayer a priority for you? Let me know your questions about prayer.
Rev. Ineda P. Adesanya