Taking time to pray...

Recently, I attended Teddy Bear Camp at Judson Collins United Methodist Camp in Onsted (Lenawee County). Going to camp refreshes me and often gives me renewed perspective on faith and life. I love going to camp – especially church camp! Several years ago, I went with my family and other pastors to a clergy camp at Lake Michigan Camp and Retreat Center in Pentwater. We took time to dig into scripture, pray, and listen for how a particular scripture passage is touching our lives. I came away from this retreat feeling refreshed, yet challenged to find ways to pause for reflection each day.

It is all too easy to get caught up in our life rhythms and neglect to set aside intentional time for prayer and reflection. Being intentional about setting aside time is important and sometimes takes a bit of organizing just to make this time and space possible. Some days my quiet time with God comes when I am folding laundry early in the morning, watering flowers or tidying up different sections of our home. When we think that we can handle everything on our own and do not feel we have time to reflect, we must be reminded that Jesus took time away from his rhythms. Even Jesus, who is God in the flesh, needed to take time apart to pray and reflect. He needed a break from his work of teaching, preaching, healing, performing other miracles, and saving the world. He needed that time with God the creator to prepare himself for the next step in his ministry. In Matthew 14:23 and Luke 6:12, we read that Jesus went up a mountain to pray. In Luke 22:41-44, Jesus prayed at the Mount of Olives right before he was arrested.