Do you remember that Verizon commercial? Illustrating all the different locations where Verizon gets service? It was catchy, clever and certainly memorable. Sometimes I feel as though my prayer life is like a Verizon commercial! I need to pray for ___, and ____, or and don’t forget ___. Did I remember ____, oh and _____, and didn’t she ask for my prayers last week?????? So many people to pray for, so many needs, such a long list, I don’t want to forget anyone who asked for my prayers……yikes! Prayer is stressful!
St. Luke tells of a story of Jesus approaching a town called Naim. As he got near the gates he saw a man being carried out, the only son of a widowed mother. St. Luke tells it like this, “The Lord was moved with pity upon seeing her and said to her, “Do not cry.” Then he bid the dead man to get up and we all know the rest of the story.
Did you notice? The woman didn’t even have to ask…..’the Lord was moved with pity’.
Forget the lists, forget the proper posture, forget the formatted words and forget the timed prayer sessions.
Lift up your eyes, open your heart to Him and let Him heal. “The Lord was filled with compassion”….and she didn’t even have to ask!
I read one of my favorite Scripture passages this morning – the healing of both Jairus’ daughter and the woman with a hemorrhage.
I can’t tell you how many times I read it….just love it for so many reasons.
I always zoom in on the sick woman and how she only had to reach out and touch Jesus’ cloak. I may not be able to stand up straight and face Jesus face-to-face, I may not even be able to kneel before him, sometimes the best I can do is to just extend a weak and shaky hand to lightly touch that tassel.
But today, it was another phrase that caught my attention. After Jairus was told not to bother Jesus anymore because his daughter had died,
Jesus turned to Jairus and said, “Don’t be afraid, just have faith”.
“Just have faith”
So many times in the Gospels we read about Jesus speaking about the power of faith. It’s as simple –and as difficult- as that…..just have faith
I need to reflect on that. I need to Pray on that. I need to ACT on that.
Care to join me?
What an interesting lent this is turning out to be. To all those strong and disciplined people out there, I tell you this in the utmost humility: This year the lenten promise that I made lasted a whole 6 days! I think that this was the shortest thus far in my life!
My lenten promise, what I decided to do, what I thought was best….hmm… and, as usual, God has other plans! Now, I’m not blaming God for my lack of will power (that chocolate was just too good to resist!), but as the days and weeks passed, I realized that there is something to learn here, how can I grow from this experience?
First, it teaches me great humility – I’m not in charge and I am not strong enough to ‘go it alone’. I trip and fall, over my own feet sometimes, and I’m so grateful for the loving arms that always pick me up and hold me as I begin to walk again.
Second, if I am quiet enough then I can hear that tiny whisper which lets me know what I should really be concentrating on. And, it is always gift, pure gift, not deprivation, although sometimes it may sting a little, like the bright light on a sunny day.
So, what is it for me this lent?
I remember the cross….I remember the reason for the cross. He asks me to give to him my worries. Fears that have actually become a part of me. Worries that I cling to. He wants them, He wants my healing, he wants my wholeness….
Now, that’s really giving something up for lent!