Wednesday, January 12, 2011

1/12/11 - More on Withdrawing to Pray

Mark 1:29-39
On leaving the synagogue
Jesus entered the house of Simon and Andrew with James and John.
Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever.
They immediately told him about her.
He approached, grasped her hand, and helped her up.
Then the fever left her and she waited on them.

When it was evening, after sunset,
they brought to him all who were ill or possessed by demons.
The whole town was gathered at the door.
He cured many who were sick with various diseases,
and he drove out many demons,
not permitting them to speak because they knew him.

Rising very early before dawn,
he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed.
Simon and those who were with him pursued him
and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages
that I may preach there also.
For this purpose have I come.”
So he went into their synagogues, preaching and driving out demons
throughout the whole of Galilee.


This picks up immediately after yesterday's passage. It is the sabbath, and Christ has just cast out an unclean spirit. The same day he heals Simon's mother in law, and that evening he heals many.  According to the Pharisees and Scribes, this was unlawful because he was working on the sabbath.  However, from early on in his ministry, he shows that it is acceptable to God to do God's work on the Sabbath.  Doing God's work is a way to praise Him, and that is an acceptable way to keep His day holy.

We also see another example of Christ withdrawing to solitude to pray.  We absolutely NEED to withdraw to pray to God.  Christ was more powerful and wise than any human to walk the earth, and he always, always, always withdrew to pray.  He knew that he fully needed God to accomplish his work.

I've been writing this email list for almost three years now, and I've written about this point at least half a dozen times over that period.  Right now, today, I think I'm finally getting this point through my skull.  I have finally begun consulting Christ repeatedly throughout the day, and inviting Him in to my daily life.  I've been doing that in prayer time for a long time (some days better than others of course). 

But God has kind of made a change with me lately.  I'm making an effort to be aware of Him and ask for His help in more and more of my day.  I've got to say it's made quite a difference.  Overall I have less anxiety.  I am more patient.  I am more aware of what He wants me to do and how He wants me to act.  This all comes from going to Him for help.  For beginning to truly understand how much I need Him, and how interested He is in everything that happens. 

Words completely fail to describe how big a deal this is.

Praised be to Him for drawing me closer.