Jan 22, 2009

slowing communion

last night i invited my students into an evening of prayer and rest. as i prepared the teaching and asked for insight into the needs these teenagers, it was undeniably clear that what they were craving was a space for which they could come and simply be. so, that is what i offered to them. for 45 minutes we entered into quietness; personal conversations with god, different prayer exercises, and for some (this was so great to see!), a nap.

prior to engaging in their own time of prayer, i spoke on the prayer life of jesus. throughout scripture we are bid to come and see, and learn from the quietness of jesus's heart.

"at daybreak jesus went out to a solitary place."
~ luke 4:42

i have often been caught up in this passage. it seems like an incredibly intimate piece of information about the communion between jesus and his father. here we are literally looking at the very way christ embraces time with god. i imagine that this priceless content is situated perfectly in the midst of jesus's exhaustion. for he withdraws himself just after the healings of many hurting people, after driving out evil spirits, and after being penetrated with temptation by the devil during his time in the wilderness. so now, he escapes to a solitary place to receive. i love this text! and this is only one of the many examples portrayed.

further on in luke, just after jesus performs a deep healing (once again!) in a man who is wildly affected with leprosy, we read;

"but jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."
~ luke 5:16

an intoxicating theme is beginning to form... but there is still more;

"once when jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him..."
~ luke 9:18

"he took peter, john, and james with him and went up onto a mountain to pray."
~ luke 9:28

if we are introduced, over and over to the prayer life of christ, the only conclusion i can draw then is that prayer is essential. i know this is not a monumental thesis. certainly it is nothing new. but it does demand our attention. it's is similar to those passages that begin with, "you have heard it said before, but i tell you the truth." or "truly i tell you." words like these should capture our minds, binding us to study and meditate on every captivating layer of truth. to be a christian is to live like christ. and if christ withdrew himself from all the noise and distractions, so too are we to sneak away and engage in conversation with the holy three.
so with wild abandonment, may we dare to envelope ourselves with the ultimate proposal;

"come with my by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
~ mark 6:31

1 comment:

King of the Mazza Monkeys said...

Such a great reminder and a fantastic thesis! Thank you so much for organizing and leading our prayer time together on Wednesday night. I felt it was something that our students were craving and it appeared to me that they all responded well and PARTICIPATED! This is so awesome to see! Thank you again for your passion for these students and for your listening to God's beckoning...you are one-of-a-kind, Brianna Millett!