WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 11
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” 38 And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.”
Managing Tensions: PRAYER
This past Sunday at NorthStar, we talked about how we manage the tension between busyness and margin. One of the tools to manage these tensions is PRAYER. We see in Mark 1:35-38 that Jesus departs to a desolate place to pray. This practice of prayer is well recorded all throughout the Bible, as it was an anchor practice for Jesus.
I imagine we know that Prayer is important but if you’re anything like me, prayer is a struggle. We know that it is a primary way we connect with God, but it is so hard to actually practice.
Today I want to provide five tools to cultivate a deeper prayer life. This list is from Rich Villodas, a pastor in New York City.
1. Befriend Silence
This is an invitation to sit in the presence of the Lord without saying anything and giving God an opportunity to speak to us or prompt us in a real and personal way. Befriending silence is foreign to our culture but is a beautiful way to still our souls before a holy God!
2. Normalize Boredom
This is an invitation not to constantly fill every moment with entertainment or stimulus. Allow for your brain to get bored on a car ride, take a moment to sit on a swing without your phone, this moments of boredom can prompt prayer. Another example of this is laying in bed at night. Instead of scrolling social media, pray to God in the quiet and fall asleep. Normalize boredom!
3. Reframe Distractions
Prayer can often take our minds to a thousand different places. We can start praying and then start thinking about everything else in the world. Don’t let this discourage you. Instead, see the distraction as an opportunity to return to the Lord. It’s just coming to Him again and again.
4. Remember that prayer is not something we master, but an act that forms us.
We will never master prayer. It will never be something that we check off a list, but it is a powerful practice that transforms us. Look at prayer not as a task to be checked off but an exercise to be practiced!
5. Trust that God is always waiting for you with open arms
God delights in us coming to him in prayer. No matter how big, no matter how small, God waits for us to come to Him with open arms!
Thank you for your Word. We pray that by your Spirit, Mark 1:35-38 would change us into the likeness of Christ. May we be people of prayer. Teach us to pray, Lord! We long to be with you and like you more and more. Father, we pray this now through The Son, and By the Spirit. Amen.