REFLECTION FOR TODAY
February 7, 2021
By Fr. Andrew Ibegbulem, OSA
Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed. Simon and those who were with him pursued him and on finding him said, “Everyone is looking for you.” He told them, “Let us go on to the nearby villages that I may preach there also. Mark 1:35 -3 8
In our gospel reference today, Jesus left early in the morning to pray. Jesus was convinced that if he were going to spend himself for others by his preaching and healing ministry, he would repeatedly have to summon spiritual reinforcements. He knew that he could not live without prayer, because his teaching and healing ministry drained him of power. The “deserted place” to which Jesus went to pray was not actually a desert. Rather, it was a place where he could be free from distractions — a place where he could give himself unreservedly to prayer.
He went there, not so much to escape the pressures of life, as to refresh himself for further service. Jesus’ prayer is a prayer of perfect praise and thanksgiving to the Father; it is a prayer of petition for himself and for us; and it also a model for the prayer of His disciples.
Our daily activities also drain us of our spiritual power and vitality. Our mission of bearing witness to God requires spiritual energy which comes to us through daily anointing by the Holy Spirit. Hence, we, too, need to be recharged spiritually and rejuvenated every day by prayer – listening to God and talking to Him.
There are lots of distraction in our world today. There are many activities and events taking our time. So many people are so busy with certain event and activities of life that they don’t even have time to be in prayer with God. We find it difficult to pray at a particular place or time without distraction from music and phone calls.
Even as a priest, religious, and laity, we are so occupied with activities of the church, family or even the poor and needy that we don’t have time to pray. We end up saying “God will understand I am doing his work. Yes, God will understand more if we make out time to pray. The time we spend in prayer is our best and most profiting time and moment of the day.
We may not need to rise early in the morning as Jesus did to pray. Some of us are night people. But we do need to make time for prayer. Even a short amount of time goes a long way. We should cultivate the habit of praying each day. There we find that God is present in our midst. There we discover the true meaning of freedom.
To pray is to speak to God and listen for God’s voice in order to breathe as one with God. Job and Jesus turned to God. they found freedom in their relationship with God. Job did not give up on God in his trials and sufferings even when God seemed to be absent. Jesus remains faithful to his mission even when people wanted his to remain with them.
Reflect today on how much time you give to prayer or how many times you give excuses for not praying. Be aware that whatever our calling or occupation is, we function well, and our effort yields more fruits when we pray and are in communion with God. We must know that it is the degree one is in touch with God in prayer, it is that same degree one that can function and set souls on fire.
Lord thank you for the example you set for me of the need to pray no matter how busy life activities may be. Help me to love, worship and be committed to you in prayer. You are the source of my strength and joy. Help me to speak and listen to you attentively in prayer, Jesus I trust in You.