In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
After Jesus healed a lame man on the Sabbath, the reaction of the Pharisees and scribes, writing, “they were filled with fury and discussed with one another what they might do to Jesus.” This is the context that leads Jesus to the mountain to pray in solitude without the distractions of the crowds or even the disciples.
In an age of earbuds and Bluetooth devices, there is little quiet time in our lives for prayer. With all of the beeps and chirps that fill our ears, it is good to escape from all of the distractions of this world to a quiet place for prayer. For Jesus, it was on a mountain. All three synoptic Gospel writers record times where Jesus went up on a mountain to pray. Luke even notes that this was His custom. In other places, they simply mention him going away to solitary places for prayer.
Where is your quiet place? Where can you go to escape all of the interruptions for a time of silent prayer. Maybe it’s a room in your home. Perhaps, it is going into the church sanctuary when no one else is around. Or it means getting to your office before anyone else for time in prayer and the Word. For some the time of prayer is on the treadmill or the jogging trail. Thankfully, our Lord hears prayers spoken from noisy settings amidst all kinds of distractions. But there is definitely a great blessing to finding a place of quiet for prayer to the God who is our ever-present help in trouble.
During this Lenten season, it is good for us to flee from those temporary things that vie for our attention and find our refuge in God, to whom we turn in prayer. Whether the words we utter are the prayers of the Psalms or the petitions of a heavy heart, we pray with the confidence that our Lord has invited us to call on Him and promised to hear us. While piety may differ from one person to another, my hope is that you can set apart both a place and a time for prayer during this Lenten season. One of my favorite tools for my own devotions is Reading the Psalms with Luther. May God bless you with time each day to find rest for your souls in your faithful God.
Prayer – O God, for You alone my soul, waits in silence, for my hope is from You. For alone are my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On You rest my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Amen. (adapted from Psalm 62:5-7)
Fraternally in Christ,
President Lee Hagan