Pastor’s Ponderings: Pray Anywhere, Anytime, Any place

Posted by on Mar 29, 2020 in Pastors Ponderings | 0 comments

In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, we must maintain “social distancing,” and many in our church have begun to participate in a prayer group using email. Pastor Jim wrote the following devotional on 3/27/20 to encourage our prayer lives during this difficult time…

 

Greetings Friends:

I pray that all of you and your families are well. As we continue to journey through this unusual time in human history, I would invite all of us to be spending time in prayer. Prayer is such a wonderful spiritual discipline which God has given to us. Over the past few weeks some have told me that they feel “helpless.” In a sense we are not as we practice the safe measures being recommended by the medical community and authorities (washing hands, staying at home, social distancing, and other recommendations), we also have the discipline of prayer which we can use.

Communicating with the Creator and listening as God communicates with us, allows us the opportunity to gain peace, a sense of hope, and experiencing God in the midst of the confusion of the world. Moreover, we can prayerfully intercede for each other, the ill and their families, for members of the medical community, for researchers looking for much needed answers, for first responders, and so much more. 

Below is a brief devotion about prayer which I hope will serve as a blessing to all of us. 

Stay safe! Stay strong! Keep the faith!!

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PLEASE READ:

After he had dismissed them, [Jesus] went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone

Matthew 14:23

  • In his book “The Saints’ Everlasting Rest,” Richard Baxter instructs God’s people to find the “fittest time for prayer, the fittest place for prayer, and the fittest preparation for prayer” (pp146-152).  In short what Baxter is teaching is that the spiritual discipline of prayer requires intentional and consistent effort.  
  • Saint Benedict (480-543) the “founder of western monasticism,” insisted that members of his community have regular times of prayer. He insisted on this because he “did not ever want his followers to forget who was in charge,” of course, wanting his followers to keep focused on God. Benedict encouraged times of prayer at different times throughout the day. 

How is our prayer life?  Do we pray often and regularly?  It is interesting to note that the ancient Hebrews had a pattern of praying three times each day. Several years ago I heard a Bishop saying that in some parts of India chimes will ring at ten o’clock in the morning and three o’clock in the afternoon reminding Christians to stop what they are doing and pray.

The Bible teaches us to pray and the Gospels show us that Jesus modeled for us the importance of prayer. Friends, it is so reassuring and encouraging that God desires a “conversation” with us in prayer, any time during the day!  Psalms 5:3 tells us, “O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice.”  We also learn from Psalms 55:17 (“Evening, morning, and at noon…“),  among other verses that praying in the evening is another quality time.  Paul teaches in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that God’s people are to “pray without ceasing” (see also Luke 18:1ff). This means, anywhere, anytime, any place, is acceptable for prayer.

Anywhere, Anytime, Any Place   A key is for us to find our time, our place, where we can be alone with God and allow that relationship to develop daily. To be sure, this is going to take discipline and commitment.  We will find every excuse in the world why “we can’t pray everyday.”  I can assure you that everything, including fear or uncertainty, will try to pull us away from this sacred time between us and God.  When we enter this “holy space” of prayer with God let’s remain focused and do not allow distractions to take us away from what is really important for our soul. A time of refreshment, encouragement, hope, and even peace awaits all of us as we pray.

Now, more than ever, let us recommit ourselves to prayer. 

Shalom,

Pastor Jim

 

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