Shepherd of the Hills has had an intern pastor this year. As part of a project she did she put together a daily devotional for Lent. She put together a book called How to Pray that was full of devotionals written by members of Shepherd. I was asked to write a devotional for the book. I thought I would reprint that for my blog post this week.
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
I have several fond memories of spending time around a campfire talking into the night with whoever was there – people I had known for a long time or sometimes people I had just met. As we would talk we would grow in our understanding of each other; learning what they thought about various issues or some of their past experiences. Were they a stargazer, did they like to poke at the fire, or were they just content to talk.
Luke 6:12 reminds me of those memories. Jesus spends all night on a mountain in prayer to God. I imagine that he wasn’t spending the whole night praying the Our Father over and over again. But that it was more of a conversational prayer. Sometimes I picture my prayers as if I’m spending time with God around a campfire talking into the night helping me to understand.
I don’t spend all night in prayer. My favorite time to pray is when I drive my car. It’s time alone with just me and God. I always start off with a prayer to protect the other people on the road. After that I can pray for my family, requests, gratitude, guidance and other things. But it turns out to be developing a relationship with God.
Having that relationship with God helps when we go through the storms of life. After I was married we had several miscarriages before my son was born. I was driving to work one morning grieving and questioning why this happened. I realized that it was because I had developed a relationship with God that I was able to ask that instead of asking if there was a God if something like that could happen.
That’s why one of my favorite prayers is to ask to develop a closer relationship to God for myself or people I know. My other favorites are to ask God to guide my prayers and to sing “Help me Jesus” to the tune of the Beach Boys “Help Me Rhonda”. (At least in my mind it’s to that tune, anybody who has heard me sing knows it’s horribly off key.)
What you pray doesn’t matter so much as spending time with God developing your relationship. So, have a seat at your campfire and talk with God.
Lord, help us to have a closer relationship with you so that we can walk with you, we can converse with you, and so that we can feel your love for us. Amen
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