Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Jesus said to his disciples, “When you pray, do not babble. Your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
Jesus knew what it was not to babble. In one-on-one conversations recorded in the Bible, Jesus kept his responses to people under forty-five seconds. He knew that to talk longer meant his listeners might begin to lose their focus.
I often imagine Jesus praying in the dark - late at night in the Garden of Gethsemane … overnight on many mountainsides during the years of his ministry. So many prayers, so many conversations with his Father. Jesus’ daily bread.
I think of Jesus saying less, not more. Looking at the stars. Feeling the rock beneath him. Breathing deeply. Hearing the sounds of animals around him searching for food. Jesus might have been confused by the day’s events, but he waits with the confusion, sits with it, listens with it. His sorrow might be deep, but he doesn’t turn away from it, and he doesn’t ask God to change things just so he’ll feel better. Jesus never feels sorry for himself.
Jesus doesn’t babble, and he doesn’t whimper, and he doesn’t demand. The confidence he has in his Father knows no bounds. Everything he experiences in his human life on planet earth fits within the context of that confidence. Nothing surprises him - not really. He knows his Father knows. They will talk when the time is right.
In that sweet relationship, Jesus and his Father go far beyond simple supplication. These times are much more than business meetings. In the beginning, the creativity in their relationship resulted in a whole new universe. Now that same creativity blesses every moment they have together. Talking. Listening. Talking a little more.
In our own evenings, Lord, stars shining all around the moon, let us sit with you and talk a little. Listen. Talk a little more and then, just be still. This kind of sweet silence strands none of us alone; it welcomes you however you want to come.