Our Gospel is just chock full of information and action today. Jesus spends the whole night in prayer, calls his throngs of disciples together and picks and names 12 as apostles and then comes down from the mountain to teach this great crowd of disciples and and an even larger group of people, standing on a level place. This is the beginning of the "Sermon on the Plain" (as opposed to the Sermon on the Mount in other Gospels) and we are provided with Luke's blessings and woes.
A whole lot to contemplate and try to digest today. We have a repeated pattern here: Jesus praying alone and then going forward to work and to teach and to lead. Prayer is a central part of Jesus' life and is essential to his ministry. He models for us a behavior that is vital for our own spiritual growth and development.
There are many times when prayer seems to be hard, meaningless even. Our expectations may be miscued if that is the case. Prayer can give us guidance, it can give us strength to face and do what we must. By making prayer a regular part of our daily existence, we are girding ourselves to face what will come. Will everything be perfect, peachy-keen? Probably not. But we will be better able to face and deal with whatever comes, knowing that we are never alone, having given ourselves a firm ground on which to stand.
Copyright 2009, The Rev. John F. Dwyer. All Rights Reserved.