Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Prayer is important. Why?

10 Minute Daily Retreat - Read the Daily Gospel with a prayerful heart.
By Lyn Churchyard (No. 64)     
'And at once on leaving the synagogue, he went with James and John straight to the house of Simon and Andrew. Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed and feverish, and at once they told him about her. He went in to her, took her by the hand and helped her up. And the fever left her and she began to serve them.
That evening, after sunset, they brought to him all who were sick and those who were possessed by devils. The whole town came crowding round the door, and he cured many who were sick with diseases of one kind or another; he also drove out many devils, but he would not allow them to speak, because they knew who he was.
In the morning, long before dawn, he got up and left the house and went off to a lonely place and prayed there.
Simon and his companions set out in search of him, and when they found him they said, 'Everybody is looking for you.' He answered, 'Let us go elsewhere, to the neighbouring country towns, so that I can proclaim the message there too, because that is why I came.' And he went all through Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out devils.' (Mark 1:29-39)

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'In the early morning when it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house,
and went away to a secluded space,
and was praying there.'
Jesus was in constant communion with His Father. It was the source of His strength. You may not be able to get away to a mountaintop, or go out into the wilderness, but do whatever works best for you.

Ÿ  A chair under a tree in your backyard
Ÿ  A walk around the local park
Ÿ  Sitting on the back step.
Ÿ  Even in the shower, if thats the only private place you can find.

But it isn’t always easy to create a sacred place—especially if you live with other people and it’s not your house or you have a young family.

Prayer is mentioned over 250 times in Scripture. So obviously it’s important, but why? First, daily prayer gives us the opportunity to share everything about our lives with God. It gives us the chance to express our gratitude for everything He does for us. It provides a way for us to confess our sin and ask for forgiveness and help to overcoming that sin. It is an act of worship and of obedience. And by praying daily, we realise who is really in control of our lives.
Do you find it difficult to actually pray? Does your mind wander so that you end up thinking about the day ahead and then come back to prayer feeling ashamed that you can’t even pray for a couple of minutes without getting distracted?
 I do, but we don’t need to feel discouraged because God understands our frailty. Sometimes, it’s helpful to keep a prayer journal—even just a notebook and actually write your prayers. Writing will help keep your mind focused on the task.
Seek a sacred space amongst the mundane things of life; it will give you strength when you are weak, courage when you are scared and joy when you are sad.

5 minutes: READ the text slowly.
REFLECT on a phrase or word that struck you.
SPEAK to God about your thoughts.
5 minutes: LISTEN to God speak to you.
RESPOND with a prayer that feels right for you.

Lyn Churchyard

Next Reflection: Malcolm Davies  Friday 16th January, 2015