Invitation to Prayer
It’s possible to get stuck in spiritual dryness for so long that you hardly feel a thirst for God anymore. You feel he’s been silent and distant and unresponsive, so you think about giving up on pursuing him. But the thirst never completely disappears. Even when we seem to have lost our desire for God, something within us aches for the only One who can meet the deepest need of our parched souls (Mark Roberts, No Holds Barred, 2-3).
The Psalm (Psalm 84:4-11)
4 Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you. Selah
5 Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
who have set their hearts on pilgrimage.
6 As they pass through the Valley of Baca,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
7 They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
8 Hear my prayer, O LORD God Almighty;
listen to me, O God of Jacob. Selah
9 Look upon our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
10 Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield;
the LORD bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
The Scripture reading (Luke 22:45-46)
When he rose from prayer and went back to the disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow. "Why are you sleeping?" he asked them. "Get up and pray so that you will not fall into temptation."
They didn’t seem to get it the first time, so Jesus repeats himself. “Pray so that you will not fall into temptation.” Given the sleepy state of Jesus’ friends, it appears that the great temptation isn’t some wicked behavior. What pulls us from giving prayerful attention to God is exhaustion. These disciples were “exhausted from sorrow.” Many others are weary with grief or fear or the drive to succeed.
What exhausts you today? How does that impact your praying?
O God, you are our strength. So many of our pursuits leave us exhausted and weary, short tempered with others and short in prayer with you. Rouse us from our sleepy routines that we might be vigilant in prayer, alert to your presence and work in our world. Amen.