Wednesday, January 7, 2015
Even the Disciples Lost Focus
Today is Spiritual Journey Thursday, a day to spend some time turning toward God. Please feel free to join me on this journey each Thursday with Holly Mueller and friends.
For the next several weeks, our topics will be each other's one little word Today's topic is Holly's word - focus. I had a post ready to go, but another idea surfaced the other night as I was reading Spiritual Hunger by Gari Meacham. I was reading a chapter on engaging God with prayer.
This particular section was "Lack of Stamina or Staying Power in Our Prayers."
I am a cradle Catholic, so most of my prayer life has been ritualistic, traditional prayer. I can say a decade of the Rosary with no problem. But it isn't long before I am rote praying, and my mind easily becomes focused on everything but the Our Father or the mysteries. It is easy for me to lose focus when praying this type of prayer. Or as Gari puts it, I have "...Attention Deficit Disorder when it comes to prayer."
As I kept reading, I realized the disciples, Jesus' closest friends, struggled with staying focused while praying.
They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, "Sit here while I pray." He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. "My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death," he said to them. "Stay here and keep watch."
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. "Simon," he said to Perter, "are you asleep? Couldn't you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
The last line is key to understanding that sometimes no matter how much we desire to be focused on God and want to have engagement with him through prayer, we are still weak. He knows we wander and through His grace continues to center us.