Luke 6:12-16 NRSV
Now during those days he went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Just for clarification, a disciple is a person who follows. Therefore all Christians should be disciples; we are those who follow the ways and teachings of Christ. An apostle is a delegate—someone who is personally sent out as a representative of sorts. Jesus’ apostles are the 12 listed here—they were personally sent out by Jesus himself to heal and teach on his behalf. We are all called to follow Christ but Jesus personally asked the apostles to go and do his work.
It seems that whenever Jesus has a big decision to make he goes and prays (what a fabulous example for us to follow!). If there is something he must decide, he turns to God so that he follows God’s will. Jesus constantly turned towards God, listening for God’s voice.
We too need to listen for God’s voice in our lives. Prayer can be hard. It’s difficult to know what to say. It’s difficult to sit in silence trying to fend off our own thoughts. So often we think there is a specific way we must pray. I’ve yet to learn a “correct” way to pray; rather the point is that we do pray. Jesus gave us the Lord’s Prayer as an example of prayer.
There are many ways for us to pray. Some of us pray while drawing, singing, even dancing; others of us pray while we walk in the mornings or evenings. There is a discipline called Lectio Divina in which one prays as they read a short piece of scripture. The scripture is read and re-read while listening for a word, a thought inspired by God.
For those of you, who are close to Mound City on Wednesdays, drop by the church anytime between 11am and 2pm, and you can pray in the sanctuary. I’m usually around (unless, I’m grabbing lunch) and am happy to come and pray with you. I’m also happy to teach you to pray with Lectio Divina, the Rosary, or with art anytime—just give me a call or email me and we can set up a time to meet.
Holy One, it can be scary or even difficult to approach you. We don’t know what to say, it can be hard to be silent and listen for you. Sometimes in our silence, our own thoughts invade and they are difficult to keep out. We ask you for patience—yours and ours. Be patient with us as we try to pray, we ask for patience so we can settle into the silence and listen for your voice. Thank you Lord, for this gift of prayer in which we can communicate with you. We pray through the Holy Spirit, amen.