Weekly Devotion – April 15, 2019

     “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:5
     The day before had been a long day of conflict and victory over sin and death. This hour in the darkness just before the sun rose was a time for Jesus to prepare Himself for another great mission of love. Talking with His Father was the place of renewal, and refilling. It prepared him for what the new day would bring, a new challenge of sharing God’s love, this time accompanied by His first four disciples.
     If Jesus prayed early in the morning how much more necessary is it for us to pray before the world gets possession of our thoughts and before we are surrounded by unholy feelings and we get our minds centered on our work. When we rise from our beds each morning and while the world around us is still, it is a wonderful time to seek God’s face for the inspirational guidance of His Holy Spirit.
     This was a practice that I began in my life when my children were very small. It was the only time that I had alone with God, when I could share my perplexities, frustrations my burdens and my joys.  It was the only time my household was quite enough for me to listen to God. Over the years I have found it easy to keep this hour for a time with God. The early morning time seems especially holy because there are no interruptions, no traffic, no phone calls, or noises of conversation.
     This practice of early morning prayer, that Jesus modeled for us, is an opportunity for more free and full communication of our deepest concerns shared with God our Creator and Redeemer. Because of the silence and absence of interruptions it is a perfect time for a personal conversation with God, a time when we give the first fruits of ourselves to God and we listen to God. You may also find it is a good time for study of God’s Word when God can speak clearly to you, but it is especially dear to God when we come to Him for a conversation, when we can listen and hear Him speak to us without interruptions. Another advantage of this daily practice is that it leads us into knowing that the presence of God is always with us, and it reinforces that prayer can be on our minds and in our hearts throughout the day. May God bless your times of prayer whenever that may be. Amen.
    Rev Sue Beall – NLS Spiritual Director

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