Last night I had about 50 or so youth from my church in my backyard. They swam and played a game called pickle ball. It was a lot of people and I noticed something about myself.
When I am distracted by people and things, I don't pray. I turn off my brain and forget. I get on auto-pilot or over-stimulation mode and I don't pray. At one point yesterday I sat down and began to pray, but was quickly distracted.
I wonder if the disciples felt the same that night in the garden. Jesus asked them to pray, but their minds were full of their Teacher's words during their passover meal. “This is my body. . .” Perhaps they were trying to unlock spiritual meaning without turning to God. As they attempted to do something in their own strength, their strength gave out and they ended up falling asleep.
The same thing was true for me last night. My mind fell asleep amid the people hanging around my yard because I was trying to do something in my own power instead of asking God to help me pray. Asking God to bless those in my yard and turn their hurts and lives toward Him. What a ministry I lost by falling asleep spiritually.
The good news is God's grace is sufficient. I pray I won't do this again the next time I have the opportunity to pray for a bunch of young adults in my backyard. I pray I will stay alert and pray.
What do you do to stay alert?
Last week we worked on Philippians 2:3-8 as our memory verse. Did you get it down? I did. For the next three weeks I want to work on Psalm 103. Yes the whole thing. Here it is:
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
6 The Lord works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The Lord is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
11 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,
so great is his love for those who fear him;
12 as far as the east is from the west,
so far has he removed our transgressions from us.
13 As a father has compassion on his children,
so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him;
14 for he knows how we are formed,
he remembers that we are dust.
15 The life of mortals is like grass,
they flourish like a flower of the field;
16 the wind blows over it and it is gone,
and its place remembers it no more.
17 But from everlasting to everlasting
the Lord’s love is with those who fear him,
and his righteousness with their children’s children—
18 with those who keep his covenant
and remember to obey his precepts.
19 The Lord has established his thronel in heaven,
and his kingdom rulesm over all.
20 Praise the Lord,n you his angels,
you mighty onesp who do his bidding,
who obey his word.
21 Praise the Lord, all his heavenly hosts,
you his servants who do his will.
22 Praise the Lord, all his works
everywhere in his dominion.
Praise the Lord, my soul.
So let's work on 7 verses the first two weeks and do 8 verses the last week. If we do that we will have the whole psalm memorized in three weeks. Last week I posted a few tricks I use for scripture memory, check them out if you need help.