Daily Devotional for July 1

July 1                                                               Luke 22:39-51


For Jesus, prayer was an integral part of life. Through prayer
he maintained a continuing relationship with God that gave
him God's own perspective on himself and his mission in life
and prepared him for the important acts and events of his
ministry.


During his earliest sojourn in the wilderness, he found the
limits of his ministry defined by the temptations he experi-
enced in prayerful solitude. (Luke 4: 1-13) Before choosing his
disciples, he prepared himself by spending time in quiet reflec-
tion with God, seeking divine guidance for the important
choices he was about to make. (Luke 6:12-16) At the mount
of Transfiguration, Jesus entered into prayer at the turning
point of his ministry, seeking and finding strength for the
sacrifice that lay ahead. (Luke 9:28-36)


Gethsemane was therefore not an isolated experience of prayer
for Jesus, a sudden turning toward God in a moment of crisis,
but one of many times when Jesus turned to God to review
the conflicting claims on his life and to reconcile his own will
with God's. In Gethsemane, Jesus' ongoing relationship with
God therefore strengthened his already existing unwillingness
to save himself at the expense of God's perfect will and
solidified his refusal to acquiesce to violence against his
attackers. So firm was this refusal that when one of his disciples
impulsively resorted to the use of a sword, Jesus healed his
attacker.


Without such a deep relationship with God, cultivated by
regular prayer, we become like disciples who sleep, unaware
of the struggle between good and evil raging around us all the
time and unable to cope with its intensity. To us Jesus comes
today and says: "Why do you sleep? Rise and pray that you
may not enter into temptation."

From The Road to Emmaus - An inclusive devotional Edited by Joseph W. Houle

Emmaus House of Prayer - Washington D.C

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