So week 2 of the challenge has come and gone. The task for this week was to Pray for three full hours. This task was always going to be a challenge this week due to the demands on my time and my difficulties with prayer. Although my prayer life is improving slowly to pray for 3 whole hours in one go was a mammoth effort.
So to tell you about the 3 hour prayer session. Well as I knew fitting it in was a real task and in the end it was late Saturday night by the time I managed to finally sit down and complete the task. Knowing that the end of the week was coming and that it failing in week 2 would be embarrassing I finally completed the task. In the end I had to stay up well beyond my usual bed time knowing that it would leave me very tired for Church this morning. When I sat down I decided that I would begin by reading a passage in the Bible that has spoken to me recently, the book of Jude. During this time of focus there were two verses that spoke to me;
I, Jude, am a slave to Jesus Christ and brother to James, writing to those loved by God the Father, called and kept safe by Jesus Christ.
The reason that this verse speaks to me is two fold. On the one hand I know that God is calling me to work for Him and I am more than happy to offer my life to Him. The reason for this is the second part of the verse that speaks to me. I have been kept safe by Jesus Christ. In my life in all things I know Jesus has been watching over me and protecting me from evil. Now I have returned to the Church and have accepted Jesus and God into my life I know that there is nothing that can stop Good from loving and protecting me.
Go after those who take the wrong way. Be tender with sinners, but not soft on sin. The sin itself stinks to high heaven.
This second verse is again linked to my past. I once took a wrong route and lived a life of sin, but there were people who lived this verse in my life. There were many people who were always there for me when I needed it, they were always kind to me and helped nurse my growing faith. Even though there was never a time when anyone let me have an easy time about my past. I was prevented from slipping back into my old ways by those around me who reminded me of not only the sinful nature but also of the pain I had experienced through living in that way.
After reading this passage in a number of different translations and reflecting on the message of the book I then moved on to a period of quite prayer. I spent a long time praying in a way that I have not ever done before, I prayed about the issues in my life that I have right now and asked for help but also the abilities to deal with them. In spending this long amount of time alone with God in a way I have never done before brought me in to a sense of God's presence that I don't think I have ever experienced.
After I had told God all of my worries and needs and finished asking for what I needed I spent the rest of the time listening. For me this was possibly the hardest period of the prayer session and to be honest don't think it was as valuable to me as the other two periods. It is certainly a part of my prayer life that I need to work on, but then as in life in general listening is sometimes a problem it is no surprise listening to God is also an issue. However I do feel that it is something that if I work on and continue to ask God's help over I will be able to develop this in to valuable time with my God.
So altogether I think that although this was a difficult task for me to do it was a very valuable exercise. Although I doubt I will be able to find such long periods of time regularly it has prompted me to try and find more time to spend in prayer. I want to commit to regular consistent prayer sessions because not only is it something I need to do, after this task it is something I want to do.
So what is the task for next week? Well the task that came out of the hat this morning is to pray for the nearest Salvation Army Social Program. Check in next Sunday to find out how I do.
This blog is supposed to be, as much as I can, my daily journey through life as a Christian. I hope it to be my thoughts and feelings on life but be as grounded in the Christian message as it can. My intention is not to create a daily readings or bible study guide but to look at my life in terms of a Christian trying to find and follow God's mission using his Life User's Manuel AKA the Bible.