February 8, 2009
In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
In the midst of curing people and teaching, we often read in the gospels that Jesus went to a quiet place to pray. This passage from Mark is surrounded by Jesus healing a man of an unclean spirit, curing Peter’s mother-in-law, and going through the area of Galilee teaching with authority, as we read last week. So what is the lesson to be learned from Jesus? I believe one is that we must keep connected to God if we are to speak and act on behalf of God. Prayer is connecting with God. We can pray in many ways. Sometimes we say a prayer, like the “Our Father”. Sometimes we just talk to God from our heart. Catholic Mass, the Rosary, and the Way of the Cross, for a few examples, are ways of praying. To pray with other Christians is important. Praying privately, by ourselves, is equally important.
Think of how many people you communicate with throughout a day. Doesn’t it make sense to spend at least some time each day talking with God? Do you have special time of day when you pray? Great! If you don’t, pick a time that is good for you. Perhaps the best time would be when you get up. Have a conversation with God on rising. Put the day in God’s hands. Ask for the grace to live the day as God would want you to live it. It’ll only take a few minutes, if that’s all the time you have. Maybe the best time to pray is before you go to bed. Thank God for the day, for the good things that happened and for the people that brought happiness to your life. And then, if necessary, ask God’s forgiveness for anything you did for which you are sorry.