Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Luke 9:10-11 -- On Following Christ

"And the apostles, when they were returned, told him all that they had done. And he took them, and went aside privately into a desert place belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
And the people, when they knew it, followed him: and he received them, and spake unto them of the kingdom of God, and healed them that had need of healing."
Luke 9:10-11

Whenever I read about Christ's mortal ministry, I wonder what it would have been like to have been there.  To sit at his feet and to learn from him... to be able to ask him questions there, in person.  I can totally understand why the people would follow him wherever he went, and I adore that he took time for them and healed them even when he was trying to have a private meeting with the apostles.
I wonder if we can translate that desire to see Christ and to learn from him in person into a desire to pray.  I know that it is hard to get our minds to admit that it is a similar thing sometimes, especially when we often fall into formulaic prayers, rattle off a list, and get it over with.  Prayer shouldn't be like that, right?  Prayer *is* like being there in person.  It's not asynchronous communication like email is.  We don't send a prayer to God's inbox and wait for him to get it.  It is synchronous communication.  When we start praying, God is there on the other end of the line, listening to us.  If we are sincere and in tune, we can feel his presence, and sometimes answers will even come as we are there, communicating.
It's can be hard sometimes, I think, recognizing God's presence and hearing his answers.  We don't always know what the Spirit feels like, or how it works in our lives right away.  It takes time and practice learning to listen, and we might prefer the opportunity that the people had during his ministry.  If we put in the effort though, our lives can be just as full of his presence, and perhaps even more full.  For us, we don't have to leave him to eat or sleep or earn a living.  The benefit of prayer is that it is *always* there, whatever we are doing, and as Alma 37:37 teaches us, God will even watch over us in our sleep. :)
Today, let's be willing to follow Christ wherever he goes, and take him with us wherever *we* go.  Let's ensure that we are learning to have him always with us, and putting him first as an essential part of our lives.

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