Balance is a word that I hear used often in conversation as people speak about busyness and life. We seek balance between work and family, balance in our finances so we don’t overspend, and balance with our time, so that we can volunteer, but not burn out. Yet I believe we also want to find that kind of balance, equilibrium, and peace in our spiritual lives.
A central place that we find balance spiritually is in prayer. We see this example set by Jesus in his life, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35, TNIV) Prayer was a key part of Jesus’ life and of those who followed him. Prayer was a place to be centered, a place to discern God’s will, to hear his leading, and to grow in one’s relationship with God.
We can learn a lot about prayer in the life of the church in the book of Acts. If you have time over the next few weeks take some time to read through Acts, paying special attention to the role of prayer in the early church. We see the disciples pray over food and financial gifts to the church, travel safety for one another, healing, emotional struggles, casting out demons, wisdom before they meet with public and religious officials, and more. Prayer was central to the direction and drive of the early church. Prayer kept the early church focused on discerning God’s will and direction for their work.
As we look ahead this summer, we have a major concert June 26th, Vacation Bible School in August, and continuing outreach in the local community. It is important at a time as this, to take time to turn to God in prayer. We turn to God to pray not just for these events or circumstances, but because we believe prayer is central to our relationship with God and all that we do. As you pray, pray for myself, the consistory, and our ministry leaders, that we would be sensitive to God’s leading in our own lives. As you continue to pray more and become sensitive to God’s spirit, God will place on your heart specific items to be in prayer for and when the Spirit does, following that leading and lift it up in prayer to God. We are told in scripture, “We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” (Romans 8:26, TNIV) Let’s be a church sensitive to the Spirit’s leading, and a church that covers one another in prayer, and finds our balance in God’s Spirit.