Daily Devotional

Daily Devotional for Wednesday, March 30

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark,

   Jesus departed and went out to a desolate place,

      and there He prayed.

      ~ Mark 1:35

Then Job answered the Lord and said:  

   “I know that You can do all things, and that no purpose of Yours is thwarted.  

      ‘Who is this that hides counsel without knowledge?’   

   Therefore I have uttered what I did not understand —

      things too wonderful for me, which I did not know.” 

      ~ Job’s honest words with God, in Job 42:1-3

PRAYER  (Part 1)
As one aspect of you and me being created in God’s image, God gave us the gift of language.
We use words to convey facts, feelings and ideas — many of which are abstract and difficult to explain apart from attaching words to them.
Much of our heart’s “interior life” relies on words.  You and I actually use language to think, employing its structures, categories and phrases.  Throughout each day you engage in an ongoing dialogue in your mind, silently employing words.
The Scriptures teach that we actually “feed” on words:

“Man does not live by bread alone,
   but by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”

      ~ Jesus, in Matthew 4:4 (echoing Deuteronomy 8:3)

So, what is prayer?
In prayer, we go to God to create a place of dialogue where our relationship with Him can develop and deepen using the medium of language.  In prayer we create places for our soul (or our heart) to open up to God.
Meister Eckhart, the 14th century German theologian, describes it well,

There is a place in the soul that neither time, 

   nor space, 

      nor any created thing can touch.

Prayer is the place in our soul created for God.
Each of us comes to Christ with differing capacities to trust in relationships.
Our experiences growing up either nurture or undermine our ability to trust.  For some, trusting another person does not come easily.  In this regard, God works with each of us right where we are.  And prayer is one means through which we begin to trust Him.
Prayer also helps form the “inner sanctuary” where we come to know ourselves, “furnishing” our internal world so that it comes to inform our external world.
Jesus, the Son of God, highly valued His connection with God the Father.  As a result, we see Jesus routinely making time in His demanding schedule to pray.
We also notice this in the Old Testament with Job, in the raw, lengthy conversation that occurs between God and him.  Prayer is more than words or language, but it usually includes language.
Let’s take the next several devotionals and explore together this core subject of prayer.
Questions for reflection . . .
1.  What is prayer for you?
2.  In what ways do you find your prayers to God giving voice to your soul?
Kent & Denise Dahlberg ~ Integrare