Friday, 9 April 2021
By : Prathab V
Luke 22: 39-44
Prayers have brought me great joy and peace. But I have also been devastated by prayer. No, not that there’s something wrong with prayer. Just that I feel guilty for not spending enough time in prayer.
I am not very spiritual. At best, I am a mediocre person. I am far from the leagues of St Francis of Assisi or Billy Graham. Why can’t I just spend more time in prayer? Is five minutes enough? 15 minutes? How about 30 minutes in silent meditation and prayer?
But even in my mediocrity, I have learned to glorify God. John White in his book “The Fight: A Practical Handbook for Christian Living”, writes: “It matters not how much you’ve got but what you do with it. Use your mediocre gifts for God. Give him your life and with it your brain and your gifts, such as they are. Give him your energy, your time and your strength.”
In my mediocrity, I wrestle during prayer. My body demands more sleep. My mind constantly urges me to do other pleasurable things such as watching sports or a movie.
It is also hard to keep my mind still and focused on God during prayer. In group prayer, when a friend starts to pray, my mind races elsewhere especially if it is a very long prayer. During long prayers, I start thinking about what I should pray for when my turn comes up. I even think about using sophisticated theological terms to impress others.
During those times, the Spirit of God rebukes me sharply for having such carnal thoughts. Rather than looking at the sin of others, I learn more about my sins during prayer. I need not use words to impress others. I don’t have to impress God. I must not ‘start preaching’ when praying.
Prayer is unto God. It is a request from men to God. That is all. It need not be a long prayer nor a short prayer – just enough words to speak to God in reverence and humility and wait upon Him.
Reading the prayers of Jesus, I am amazed at how short they were (except for John 17). Although there were instances, where God answered the prayers of Jesus in an extraordinary manner, at other times, the Son of God heard only silence.
In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed till his sweat became as drops of blood on the rocks. But there was only silence from heaven. Instead, an angel was sent to strengthen Jesus (Luke 22:43).
As I read Luke 22, I am stunned that the Son of Man, the Saviour of the World, needed to be strengthened by an ordinary angel (not even an archangel!). But Jesus did not complain that the Father did not speak to Him at Gethsemane.
Although Jesus was emotionally sorrowful at Gethsemane, He was spiritually strong inside. He agonised but was determined to finish His mission.
These days, I do not seek any spectacular experience during prayer. Rather, I just yield to God in humility and trust Him alone. I wait on Him and depend not on how I feel, but on what He wants me to do. I pray, it will be the same with you.
Lord Jesus, teach me to pray and learn to trust in Your wisdom. Teach me Lord to patiently wait on You in silence so that I may know what You are saying to me. Let my mind not wander during prayer, but stay yielded to You alone in every way. In Jesus’ name, I ask, AMEN.
我并不是一个很属灵的人。充其量，我只是一个平庸的普通人。我的水平远比不上圣弗朗西斯（St Francis of Assisi）或葛培理（Billy Graham）。为什么我不能多花点时间祈祷呢？五分钟够吗？15分钟？默想和祈祷30分钟怎么样？
但即使我是多么的平庸，我也学会了荣耀上帝。约翰•怀特（John White）在他的《抗争：基督徒生活实用手册》（The Fight: A Practical Handbook for Christian Living）一书中写道：“重要的不是你拥有多少，而是你如何使用它。把你平庸的恩赐献给上帝。把你的生命，你的头脑，你的恩赐如实的交给祂，把你的精力、时间和力量交给祂。”