Saturday, April 5, 2014

Morning Psalms: 107:33-43, 108 | Evening Psalm: 33
Exodus 2:23—3:15 | 1 Corinthians 13:1-13 | Mark 9:14-29
 
In our broken and unclean world, we strive for perfection, yearn to be the exception, and look for purpose and direction. We use our experiences to lead us forward and validate our future as we fail to see our future entwined with Christ into eternity. The disciples, having been given the authority to exorcise, failed with an evil spirit too strong for their experience and rituals. Jesus reminded them of the power of prayer, leading us to understand the disciples’ insufficiency in faith and prayer, and at the same time, God’s desire to be in relationship with us in our daily lives.
 
Prayer regulates our desires, redirects our attention, and realizes humility. When we meditate and pray as Jesus taught us, we aim to control our thoughts to give thanks, praise, or ask for intercession. We find that our needs are secondary and the needs of others become a primary concern. Through prayer, we reduce our reliance on ourselves and acknowledge our dependence upon God’s relationship with us. God’s relationship with us through prayer obviously doesn’t guarantee our desires, rather His will be done.  
 
Prayer sanctifies and intercedes. Human understanding tells us that as we learn with and from a master, we can someday become like the master; all we must do is work hard enough, learn, and convey the proper knowledge and we ascend to the master’s level. Christ tells us that we can inherit the earth by being meek. For it is through our humility that we are reminded of our need for God’s grace in all we do, even in matters of faith and prayer. When we fail in our prayers, God intercedes. When we question our faith, God sanctifies. When we, despite our human inclinations and inconsistencies, continue to pray incessantly, we show our desire to love Him who first perfectly loved us.
 
“O Lord, I now realize in very truth that not every man hath faith. I believe, O Lord, but help my unbelief! Do not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax. O Jesus Christ, Thou who sittest at the right hand of God make intercession for me that my faith fail not. Be the author and finisher of my faith, that I may be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Though I see not, let me yet believe and thus be saved. Amen” (From For All The Saints: A Prayer Book for and By the Church. The American Lutheran Publicity Bureau, 2006.)
 

Christopher Wendel
MDiv Student
Ambridge, PA
   

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