Building Margin for Sabbath – Week 4, Day 4

Daily Scripture Reading:

Mark 1:35 –  “In the morning, while it was still very dark, he (Jesus) got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” 

Luke 11:1 – “He (Jesus) was praying in a certain place, and after he had finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray;”

Luke 22:39 – “He (Jesus) came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives . . .”                                                               –

 They are simple phrases: “deserted place,” “in a certain place,” “as was his custom”. Simple but packed with meaning and instruction. Jesus prayed often. He prayed alone. He prayed with others. He went to a place or aside from the other activity going on around Him.

And so I wonder: If Jesus, Son of God, Savior of the world, thought it was important to take time to pray, don’t I think it’s probably a good idea for me to do likewise?

The practice of Sabbath renews and refreshes us and the practice of daily prayer gives us strength from day to day. Praying is not meant to be difficult – just talk to God. He listens. But don’t stop there. Be quiet before God and listen to him speak to you. If you find it difficult to pray and/or to listen, read the Psalms. Every human emotion is found in those verses.

Building margin into our lives for Sabbath, sabbath moments, and prayer will change our lives. God promised and He is always faithful in His promises.

Prayer: Holy God, thank You for hearing my prayers. Thank You for knowing my heart. Thank you for understanding my concerns. Speak to me, Lord, this day and guide me in Your perfect peace. Through Christ our Lord, Amen.

Reflection Question and/or Application for the Day:

When do you pray? Where do you pray?

How do you listen to God?

Is time with God your “custom”? If not, what could you do differently today to build margin for prayer?

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Devotion from Building Margin for a Balanced Life, devotional book, small group study and sermon series

©Tim Reaves and Trish Archer

All rights reserved

A Place to Sit

I love my new sitting room. What do I do there? Mostly just sit . . . think . . . ponder . . . read . . . write . . . pray.

I never knew how much I’d enjoy this new room. It’s really not a new room – just an old room that has changed its function. Several weeks ago, I enlisted the creativity and know-how of my decorating friend. In 2 days, we changed 2 old rooms in our house into 2 new rooms, complete with a change of furniture, paint and purpose. The old living room became the new dining room. The old dining room became the new sitting room.

It’s a much better use of space. I don’t know why we hadn’t done it before now.

Now I have a place to sit and ponder . . .

And there’s so much to ponder. It seems at every turn God has been stirring something within me.

Maybe it’s the “Second Half of Life” questions (Richard Rohr’s book Falling Upward) from a recent retreat:

Who am I?

Where do I belong?

What do I care about?

What is my life’s purpose?

Maybe it’s the challenge of the speakers at Catalyst:

“Be a student, not a critic.”   – Andy Stanley

“When you own your story, you get to write the ending.” – Brene Brown

“Do not miss your moment! What God is speaking into your heart now may be for a moment down the road.” – Margaret Feinbeck

“We should be more focused on God’s sufficiency than our insufficiency.” – Louie Giglio

One thing is certain: being still is necessary for me to understand the stirrings of God in my heart.

Thank you, God, for a place to sit.

Psalm 46:10 – “Be still and know that I am God.”

Psalm 66:12b – “You have brought us out to a spacious place” (NRSV)

                            “You brought us to a place of abundance” (NIV)

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Question to readers: Where is your “place” to hear God’s voice in your life?

Comment here or send me an email.