In-person worship services will be held as scheduled this Sunday. Please use discretion when determining whether roads are safe for your personal travel.
If you are unable to travel, consider joining worship online HERE at 7:30, 9, 11 or 5pm, on-demand at Resurrection’s YouTube channel, or on TV at KMCI 38 at 8am or 11am.
We are watching the weather and at this time the Car Show is still on as scheduled for the public, open from 9:00 am – 1:00 pm. We will keep you updated as conditions change.
35 Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer.
23 When he sent them away, he went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone.
16 But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places for prayer.
1 Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”
2 Jesus told them, “When you pray, say:
‘Father, uphold the holiness of your name.
Bring in your kingdom.
3 Give us the bread we need for today.
4 Forgive us our sins,
for we also forgive everyone who has wronged us.
And don’t lead us into temptation.’”
Jesus prayed—often. Sometimes we think prayer is just a way to make God aware of things that we want (and that we apparently assume God won’t know about unless we tell him). Jesus even voiced one of the reasons some folks give for not praying—“your Father knows what you need before you ask” (Matthew 6:8). But he didn’t see that as a reason not to pray. Right after that, in Matthew 6:9-13, he taught his disciples the Lord’s Prayer.
Lord Jesus, I love you. It doesn’t make sense to say I love you, and then never talk to you. Thank you for listening when I pray. Thank you that, if I am quiet, sometimes you speak in the deep silence of my heart and mind. Amen.
I was born in Oklahoma, and almost all my extended family lives there. My husband and kids laugh and tell me that they always know when I have been talking on the phone to one of my Oklahoma cousins, or my brother, who now lives in Arkansas, because suddenly the accent of my “first language” appears and lasts for a day or two.
We all pick up things from our environment. Accents, ideas, good thoughts and bad. Holy inspiration and earthbound prejudice. Fear and frustration. Hope and gratitude. I think that’s why prayer is so important to the life of anyone who follows Jesus. We need that time talking and listening to God, in order for our voice, our thoughts, and our actions to be more like Jesus and less like the world around us.
Jesus knew this. Surrounded by questions, complaints, heartbreaking need, and the sound of a thousand voices, he knew the importance of getting away and spending real, focused time with God. He went up to the mountain alone, he withdrew himself to deserted places – all to meet with God and get back in touch with his father’s love, thoughts, and guidance. If Jesus needed it, how much more do we? We are instructed to “pray without ceasing,” and that is one kind of on-going conversation with God at every moment of the day. But there is also the kind of prayer that draws us to a quiet place. In that place, instead of offering our daily list of needs, wants, fears and frustrations, we pause to listen in silence for God’s voice speaking to our hearts. In that set-aside time and place, God cares for us in the deepest corners of our spirit – the corners we might be hiding when we pray using many words, hoping no one, especially God, ever sees what’s there.
Silence can be scary, and many of us are used to filling quiet with noise or activity. A lot of us, when faced with silence, just fall asleep or fidget, unable to focus. I’m one of those people, and I can tell you two things: (1) it is pretty hard to fall asleep while you are walking, so taking your deserted place to the road can be a good thing, and (2) if you feel fidgety, find something to do with your hands, and free up your mind and heart. My grandmother considered time in the garden sacred and spent her praying and listening time pulling weeds and planting flowers. I doodle or knit. Give yourself grace and time to get used to listening and connecting to God’s grace and longing to sit with you. Every minute of prayer and listening won’t result in a life-changing revelation or radical solution to a problem. Sometimes the result of sitting with God is peace and a quieted spirit. In that quiet time, you can pick up God’s “accent” and move back out into the world speaking in love and gratitude for God’s presence in your life.
Lord God, I want everyone around me to know that I’ve been spending time with you by the words I speak and the love behind them. Help me connect and refresh with you, learning to listen and rest in your presence, so that I can carry your “accent” out into the world. Amen.
* Phillip Yancey, Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2008, p. 78.