“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful”
This summer has been a challenge for me in many ways but I think the most difficult for me has been that I’ve gained quite a bit of weight.
I usually have a routine of walking, exercising, and eating pretty well. At least, well for me. I’ve never been a real big vegetable eater.
However, my body speaks to me when I am deficient in areas and I am sure yours does the same thing.
We have been travelling a great deal the last month and as a result have eaten a great deal of restaurant and take out food. The cost has been larger portions and unhealthier food. My waist line has told me that I need to get back to my habits of being more aware and watchful of how much I move and how much and of what I eat.
My body, when I get to this state, starts to desire salads. It is so strange. As I said, I am not much of a vegetable eater generally-meat and potatoes are my go to happy foods. But when I neglect my body it speaks to me and tells me it needs nourishment and vitamins and minerals and all the stuff we were designed to eat regularly.
This happens to my spiritual life as well. I get busy ordering the life of the church. I get busy with my ordination process. I get busy with being a dad and a husband. I get busy dealing with the unexpected things that pop up throughout the day, week, and month. It can get easy to forget to be still with God.
Many years ago I would tell myself I would pray before bed like I did as a child. Days slipped into weeks when I would collapse onto the bed only to be awoken by the buzzing of the alarm clock. Another untold amount of time when I had put God aside and my soul and heart were speaking to me.
I started a regiment of a devotional time in the morning (I pray throughout the day intentionally in prayer as well as spend time in scripture now, but that wasn’t always the case) because I didn’t like that feeling I would get having not been still with God.
Maybe you’ve experienced that or maybe you are experiencing it now. A restlessness, an uneasiness, an uncertainty in your core – it is hard to describe but when you feel it, you know it.
Our scripture reading today is reminding us to devote ourselves to prayer. It is an activity that can never disappoint or be unfulfilling. When we pray we open up a two- way conversation back to God. God is always speaking to us – doesn’t mean we are always listening and/or responding.
When we intentionally make time for God our soul gets nourished in a way that nothing of this world can do.
I am not sure if you are making intentional time for prayer. There are many times throughout the day where you can pray independently (doing chores or driving or as you get ready in the morning) or with other people but we need to be intentional about it – just as I need to be intentional about eating better and exercising to shed my unfortunate summer weight. I can’t eat healthy once a month or exercise every now and then to shed those unwanted pounds. I need to be intentional and watchful.
Pray: Gracious and heavenly FATHER, I pray we continue to seek you out in scripture to hear you speaking to us as well as making time throughout the day to give thanks to you for our many blessings. I pray we make time to pray for each other and with each other.
Read: Psalm 118:1-18
Act: Make a list of everything you do over the course of one day. Check to ensure that praying is on it. If it isn’t, where can you fit it in throughout the day?
Yourself: Go to a farm stand and get the freshest vegetables and fruits they have. Close your eyes and feel the blessings of the many hands that went into producing that crop and thank God that your taste buds are being awakened.
Rev. Lou Ward
Summer Bible Studies:
Sunday - 4:00 PM
Monday - 1:00 PM
La Junta United Methodist Church
601 San Juan Ave
La Junta, CO 81050
Phone: (719) 384-7717
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