Jesus departed to the mountain to pray, and he spent the night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12
“I don’t need to make an appointment to eat dinner with my parents.”
This was Aishwarya Rai’s reply to David Letterman when asked regarding the set-up of living with her parents. Since most young Americans live outside their parents’ home at a certain age, they needed to make an appointment to meet with their old folks. If they want to have dinner with them, call first. If they want to visit them on weekends, arrange first. If they want to talk about their problems, give a heads up.
Jesus lives with the Father, thus needs no appointment. Jesus has to depart to the mountain to pray to his Father. He had to separate himself from people wanting to have time with him. He did not need an appointment to pray. He just have to keep himself from the crowd asking for healing or miracles,or from the Pharisees looking for his impossible missteps. He came for us to be reconciled to the Father, Jesus has paved the way for us to come to the Father.
Even without an appointment.
Before writing this, I prayed. At my daughter’s bedside. I did not have to go up to a mountain.
As I was driving to the office every morning, I whispered the Jabez prayer. Again, I did not have to hike up to a mountain.
Everyday, our family prays together. We praise him for being our God. We thank God for his blessings. We raise up our concerns to him. My daughter Praise thanks God for her day at school. My daughter Bless gives him her prayers for healing of people she knows needing it. We do that either in the living room or one of our bedrooms. Sometimes we do it when we are traveling in our vehicle. We need not go up to the mountain.
Depart from your distractions.
You can come to the Father.
You can speak with the Father.
Can spend time in prayer to God.
No appointment needed.
Do not hide your face from me now that I am in distress. Turn your ear to me; when I call, answer me quickly. Psalm 102:3
Exactly three months ago, God quickly answered even before I called.
It was a Thursday the 13th when I got laid-off from the company I used to work for. Its not that I did not expect it but it just came too soon. I wanted to stay with this company for I liked the way it operates and I wanted to give my loyalty. In fact, there were several headhunters giving me calls and emails but I had to turn them down courteously. But life is full of surprises and this is one.
As I went home to my wonderful wife, I said to myself, this is where God will show he is God. After discussing our options, I decided to call one of the headhunters who called me previously and expressed my interest on the opportunities their office might have. The person quickly returned my call after hearing my voice mail and told me she’ll refer me to a certain global corporation. After a day, a manager from the said corporation phoned me to set-up an interview with me in the coming week. The company offered me the job after another interview session and verifications but I had to wait for pertinent papers to be processed before I can get on board. All happened in three weeks.
For about two to three months of distressed days without an income for the family, we experienced God’s face in the faces of family, friends and brothers and sisters in community. We enjoyed God’s carefully listening ears when we raised up our concerns to the same people who helped us and supported us.
- Siblings were always on-line to encourage us, always giving us their consolation, asking us how are we doing.
- A friend lent us funds to pay our mortgage for one month. A brother in community expressed his intention to help us in this area, too.
- Had the longest email (63 replies all in all) in my entire life with brothers and sisters for continuous encouragement and prayers.
- Friends calling our home and asking how we are doing and inquiring how can they help us. Friends giving us financial aid amidst their own economic difficulties.
- God paving way for my wife to do dog sitting which gave us good amount of money to live by.
- On my 40th birthday, two friends were in tug of war to treat us in restaurants. We scheduled them in two separate days so they can be accommodated.
- A brother of mine sent us financial support which was good for a month’s food supply.
- My daughter’s bible school teacher affirming their prayers for us each time we see them in church.
- Our pastor enrolling in our prayer warriors list.
- My family getting closer to one another and to God as we went through the tough times.
- I am starting on a new journey in the corporation stated above this week.
God does not hide his face on the distressed. His ears ever attentive to his children. Even before I prayed, God has an exit plan from the present trial. It was not late. It was not delayed. God showed he is God. Before I called, he quickly answered.
Finally, brothers, pray for us, so that the word of the Lord may speed forward and be glorified, as it did among you,and that we may be delivered from perverse and wicked people, for not all have faith. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
Alan was part of a student missionary group tasked to nourish the planted college movement in one university in Central Luzon. The group started their journey by taking a bus from one province to another. Alan fell asleep as he was seated at the back of the vehicle. He was known to have that infamous skill. Along the way, the bus swayed and fell on the lower romp of the road. The abrupt stoppage gave Alan a flight from the back to the front of the bus. He was brought to a village clinic that had no facilities to give him emergency health care.
A contingent from where the missionary students came went to get Alan for medical purposes. Fortunately, the top-down car was to used as a emergency vehicle due to lack of funds. Alan, in the midst of pain in his head, had to face the dark starry sky during the transport for about three hours. At the hospital, doctors diagnosed him to have cut lip, broken nose and teeth loss. For this, he stayed at the hospital for weeks.
This is one among what missionaries face everyday. To bring the word of the Lord speed forward, they risk their lives on the line. If we look into this, more than physical harm, the rejection of their work is the most lethal. When they deliver the word of God or the work of God to a hostile place or people, they are abused verbally or mocked publicly by perverse and wicked people. Not all will like what they do. Not all will appreciate what they do. Yet, they respond to their call. They go ahead. They speed forward.
Paul is directing us that we can share in their work by praying for them. Spreading the word of God is all our responsibility. When God asks who can do it to this unfamiliar place or to that a non-Christian territory, missionaries raise their hands without thinking twice and with fiery fervor. As they go ahead to answer God’s call, we bend our knees for God’s grace to be upon them. As they open their mouths to proclaim God’s word, we open our mouths to plead for God’s blessings for them. As they come face to face with challenges, we come face to face with God on their behalf.
And Alan? Please pray for him, he speeds forward the word of God as an SVD missionary priest out in East Timor, Indonesia. Please pray for missionaries.
Soon a woman whose daughter had an unclean spirit heard about him. She came and fell at his feet. Mark 7:25
She has the guts. She was a Kapampangan in an Ilokano home. She was a Filipino in an American gathering. A Canaanite woman in a Jewish community, well, this is the real case. In spite of this, she came and fell at Jesus’ feet not for herself but for her daughter. She begs for healing and cleansing for her daughter. Maybe she feels what her daughter feels. Maybe she came for she has no one to turn to. Maybe her child’s condition is above her love and care. Jesus told her it was not right for her to receive that blessing, yet she persevered. Upon her persistence, Jesus healed her daughter. Jesus was amazed with her faith, she was amazed with Jesus’ power.
I was in belief when we go to the church every Sunday with our mother, she was praying for her kids. She was kneeling and whispers prayers to God enumerating her eight children. She would take a peek on one child after another as she would recite her petitions. When we pray the rosary as a family in our home, she would keep in her heart her dreams for each child and lift them up to God. Whenever she would take her time, before going to bed, she would come to God and ask for blessings for her eight kids. Whenever she makes rounds to do the last look at night on her children, she would say a short prayer for them to Him. She prodded us to be close to God as she was. She taught us the way to the church same as she taught the way to God.
Imagine what a mother would do for her children. Going to unfamiliar places to seek God’s blessings and guidance on her children. Imagine what a mother would pray for her children. She would wrestle with God and justify her requests until God grants her intercessions. Imagine what a mother would do before God. She would bow and bend her being to declare God is her Lord and King.
Selfless is a mother. Selfless is a mother’s prayer.
Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28
When carrying heavy load, bend your knees.
This is a sign I read from a church. It parallels lifting heavy loads physically and lifting heavy loads in our lives. It’s hard to lift up a heavy load when you don’t bend your knees. Normally, when you do not bend your knees when lifting heavy loads, chances are, you will have trouble with your back at the coming time. Also, bending your knees gives you the upward strength towards lifting your heavy load.
It’s exact same thing in our lives. People must bend their knees when having heavy loads. To shape our knees ninety degrees and come to Jesus upon experiencing burdens. Financial burdens, family burdens, health burdens, relationship burden, work related burdens and other burdens which give us heavy steps in life.
“Come to me.” Jesus promotes. However, sometimes when we experience burden in life, we forget to come to Him.
We come to a human friend to express our stress.
We come to our bank account to see if our resources can be extended.
We come to our resume when having difficulty at our workplace.
We come to our support group when something failed or did not happen as planned.
We come to the best doctors to heal our decaying bodies.
We thought every burden can be made light when we have our knees unbended. The more we allow our knees to be unbended, the more we feel the heavy load in our lives. Jesus’ yoke is easy and His burden light (Matthew 11:30).
Carrying heavy load? Bend your knees. Come to Him.