Just Pray It

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Apparently an athlete named Tim Tebow’s public displays of faith – where he bows on one knee – has been named Tebowing – some guy from Denver explains how the moniker came to be.

Of course there are many people who have no idea about the faith that Tim Tebow has publicly displayed.  Through his athletic skills he has used his gifts to demonstrate that a successful and popular athlete can be a positive Christian role model (his home page for example has 668,134 facebook followers.

Secular people will mock his kneeling because that’s what secular people do – mock everything not understood.  Devout Christians will mock his kneeling because they will consider it a trite expression of faith.

I see this differently.  I see an opportunity for timid Christians to display a public act of faith in solidarity with the example set by Mr. Tebow.  What if people who ‘Tebow’ actually become filled with the Holy Spirit?  What if this leads them to become more faithful to Christ?  What if God did all of this on purpose?

Acts of prayer are the focus of today’s Gospel reading (hear it read aloud).  At this point in the Gospel of Luke, Jesus is about to make an important decision – who will be his chosen few – his Apostles.  The 12 chosen was an important act Jesus completed before he died because they were later charged with establishing the Church all over the world.

Jesus went up to the mountain to pray,
and he spent the night in prayer to God.

I noticed that Jesus went to pray alone – there are many examples in the Gospels where Jesus is alone with God in Prayer.

It is hard to be alone in prayer.  I decided gave up some sleep and to wake up at 5 AM each morning to have 1 hour of quiet solitude to pray, read the daily Lectionary and write these reflections on it.  I cannot begin to express the peace and joy this 1 hour brings to me and my family.

When I am alone in prayer, I am able to concentrate on my prayer intentions and listen to God’s answers.

Prayer Room
A prayer room

When I am alone in prayer, I can be myself and not worry about whether I am pleasing or displeasing someone else in the room.

When I am alone in prayer, I can forgive those who have offended me and make an act of contrition or identify who I have offended and later apologize for my sins.

When I am alone in prayer, it is hard to lie to myself and so discernment – the act of figuring out what God calls me to do becomes clearer than at any other time during my day.

The second message from today’s Gospel reading is that Jesus prayed all night.  Think about this level of commitment.  I have never prayed all night.  In the past, I had many sleepless nights where I am worried about something outside my control – something that I needed to give up to God and ask for help.

I was foolish in those sleepless nights in that I did not stop myself and pray.  I later learned the power of praying the Rosary.  I find that when I actively pray before sleep, including my act of contrition, I sleep like a rock!

If our Lord, Christ Jesus prays all night to make an important decision, then shouldn’t I pray a lot before I make one too?

At first glance, it would seem that my decisions are unimportant, compared to the choice by Jesus of the 12 Apostles.  The choices I am to make affect my family – at least 4 people are directly impacted if I make a choice without discernment.  There are also all of the people who work for me and with me in my day job.  What about all of the people I come in contact with on the street?  Extended family?  Friends?

Considering all of these people (many hundreds at this point) does it not warrant some extra time in prayer?

I thank God today for the gift of prayer.  I offer all my prayer intentions for those in my prayer petition book and pray to spend as much time as necessary in prayer to honor you, reflect on my life, ask for forgiveness, and discern what I am to do today to glorify your name.

Today’s Notes

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