Thursday, February 26, 2015
Waiting and Listening
After leaving the home of Martha and Mary, Luke causes us to see Jesus alone in prayer. Watching Jesus pray must have been quite an experience for those men who were His disciples. Being steeped in the Hebrew religious tradition, each of them was surely well acquainted with prayer. But, watching Jesus pray and hearing Jesus pray, make them realize they were still children when it came to praying. There was obviously much to learn and so when He finished praying, one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray..." (Luke 11:1) and He did.
We could learn something about prayer from this unnamed disciple. He made a request. Or, to put it another way, he asked. And, Jesus answered by teaching him and the others. Apparently, this disciple not only asked, but was also listening. Here is the part of prayer that most of us need a lesson. We know how to tell God what needs to be done and we know how to tell Him what we want or need. But, when it comes to asking important questions and listening, we fall short. What would happen if we changed our way of approaching prayer? What might happen if we ask Him to teach us to pray? What might happen if we ask Him why we had so much trouble turning the other cheek? What might happen if we ask Him why we continually fall prey to a particular temptation? What might happen if we ask Him how to love as He loved?
Actually, nothing would happen unless we were actually committed to waiting and listening. It is a hard thing for most of us to wait and listen. It is hard because we are not always convinced that there is going to be anything to actually hear when we are praying. Our low sense of expectation make us learning from Him in our praying almost impossible. But, just because something has always been a certain way does not mean it has to continue. Or, does it?