In our text for this Sunday, Jesus is very busy, even late into the night. But…
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
But then what happened? Jesus was found again by others who demanded his presence and work and Jesus went.
It’s no secret that our service and our work inform our prayer life. Much of what we do gives us the context and the basis for what our prayers will even be. In other words, our material in our conversation with God typically stems from what we have just experienced or are experiencing.
But the reverse is just as true. Our work and service is informed by our prayers. As we reach out in service to this world, so much of that work and the tone of that work is set-up by our prayer life. Our praying is our strength, our spiritual food, that gives us the ability to do that work and perform those tasks well. I would even say “We’re only as strong as our prayers.”
Jesus has served. He is tired and it has been a long day. So, he gets up the next morning and he prays, lifting up his experiences to God but also drawing strength from God, because what happens next? His presence and his work are required of him. Our service and our prayers are a cycle, enabling us to commune with both God (prayer) and humanity (service). The two go hand-in-hand, something very reminiscent of “faith and deeds” in the Book of St. James (a little homework for you).
For this weekend, be sure that what you do informs your time in prayer, but that your prayer informs what you will do. Again, from St. James…
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you… —4.8
Be blessed this weekend and may God give you peace.