Friday, March 02, 2007

Practicing the Prayer-filled Life

To start off the next Chapter in the workbook, please read the section entitled "Jesus and the Prayer-filled Life" or if you do not have the book, check out Mark 14:32-36. Spend some time quietly meditating on this passage and note any word, phrase or idea that comes from your time reading these verses.

Reflection Question: What impresses you most about this passage?

Please post any thoughts you have on your time with these verses. Please also share any experiences you have had in your attempts to "practice the prayer-filled life" in your faith journey.

I'll be following up shortly with additional points of discussion from this Chapter. Thanks to each of you for your participation rich it has been already!


Jemila Monroe said...

What most impresses me about this passage is that here is a Jesus I can really relate to...I am a wrestle with God alot, I get angsty and feel spiritually contorted; my spiritually life is rarely a fluffy ride on cloud nine, yet I long ultimately for God's will.

Amy said...

I was most impressed by the very "humanness" of Jesus. I tend to picture Jesus as more "God-like" and having life and his purpose pretty much under control. This really bring to my mind a much more personal, real Jesus, like Jemila said.

I was also impressed that Jesus asked three of his disciples to come with him to watch. Not to pray with him or for him, but to watch. It made me wonder if that can sometimes be the purpose of friends.

Jemila Monroe said...

Amy, the second part of your comment really strikes a chord with me. I like the link you made with the power of friends who are just "there" to witness something important, without doing anything, spiritual or otherwise. Amazing that Jesus took the risk of being vulnerable, of asking for what he "needed" and was let down by his closest friends. I know this also is something I relate to in my personal journey.

I also appreciate the fact that Jesus seemed quite intentional about allowing his closest disciples to see him "like that." I find that provocative.

Nancy said...

I appreciate the honesty of emotions in the time Jesus spent praying. He was not praying with his "head". Nothing rote, nothing that would smack of "lingo"...he was real before his Father and those watching as he prayed.

Jemila Monroe said...

Yes Nancy -- it is so easy to get caught up praying from the head, esp in front of groups where you are the designated leader. I know in my church we talk about authenticity, but there are still "limits" to what is appropriate and acceptable without weirding people out with too much reality. Yet Jesus isn't concerned with making his death preparation look high and holy or within a certain acceptable range for the sake of his disciples -- even for the sake of their faith.

Lori said...

I love what you all have had to say...this has been one of my favorite passages for a long time. There's something about knowing that Jesus suffered that creates a link for us to a God who otherwise can sometimes seem distant.

This time I was struck by the words "If it be possible"...that Jesus would feel free to ask for the longing of his heart. Though he ended with "thy will be done" he still tried to find a way around it; I am comforted that even Jesus looked for another way.

Kate said...

In the NLT Jesus says here "my soul is crushed".

I know that when I have felt like this, I have not faced God - I have hidden or rebelled or been angry.

That Jesus goes to his Father at this point and asks to be spared, only to be denied - is heartbreaking for me.

What impresses me is Jesus's ability to then face his fate.
" Enough! It is time". How I wish I could move on from times when God has denied me.

Jemila Monroe said...

Kate, that's very powerful. My heart is with you.

Amy said...

Kate, I'm going to be mulling your thoughts over a for a bit. Your description and response are very powerful.