Friday, 19 June 2015

The Practice of Prayer - Six


Encounter = True Goodness = Attraction = Motivation = Bonding = LOVE

The conclusion of this series of posts with the following paradigm for the PRACTICE of PRAYER. 

In Jesus time, the most common way a person would seek out higher learning would be to find someone who had gained much knowledge, so that they might learn from them, person to person, to be their student. They would then be known as a disciples. The Greek and Latin origins of the word disciple means: a pupil of a teacher, apprentice to a master craftsman, a learner, a student.

But to be a disciple meant they had to uproot themselves and go and attach themselves to their teachers, and remain with them wherever they went.

In chapter 10:17, of Marks gospel, we have the story of a young man who comes to Jesus with some questions about inheriting eternal life. Jesus directs him to the Commandments, but he wants to know if there is more he should know. It tells us that, "Jesus looked at him and loved him". Jesus could see that he had an open mind, seeking to learn, fertile ground to receive the first seeds of the gospel. So Jesus invites him to become his disciple. But there is a problem. His mind may be open, but his heart is divided. He is rich, with many possessions. To become a disciple of Jesus, he would have to leave behind all his possession and follow Jesus where every he went. His head may have been ready but his heart wasn't.

The gospels tell us that often there would be large numbers of people who would gather to hear Jesus teaching. But not all were actual disciples. They may be the sick seeking healing, or others looking for miraculous signs. At one point it lists the number of actual disciples at seventy-two. Later, in chapter 6: of John's gospel, when Jesus speaks of eating his body and drinking his blood, it tells us that many of the then disciples could not accept what he was saying, and so quit being disciples and left Jesus.

One who is serious about the PRACTICE OF PRAYER, must recognize that it is not an on again, off again, when I have time and interest, matter. It is a matter of discipleship - of BONDING with Jesus and becoming his student. The PRACTICE OF PRAYER, is school where one goes to learn, to be with the Master, learning the mysteries of the spiritual life and how to apply them to one's daily life.

"Jesus looked at him and loved him". In the end it all comes down to love. 
You did not choose me, but I chose you … No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. Jo.15:15
Everyone is called to live by the Commandments of God so that they may inherit eternal life. But it would appear that God has placed in the hearts of some a desire for something more personal - not only to know, but to "know why", - because you are loved personally.
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face; now I know in part, but then I will know fully just as I also have been fully known. But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13:


The Rich Man

As he was setting out on a journey, a man ran up, knelt down before him, and asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus answered him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good but God alone.
You know the commandments: ‘You shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not steal; you shall not bear false witness; you shall not defraud; honor your father and your mother.’”

He replied and said to him, “Teacher, all of these I have observed from my youth.”
Jesus, looking at him, loved him and said to him, “You are lacking in one thing. Go, sell what you have, and give to [the] poor and you will have treasure in heaven; then come, follow me.”

At that statement his face fell, and he went away sad, for he had many possessions.

Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for those who have wealth to enter the kingdom of God!”
The disciples were amazed at his words. So Jesus again said to them in reply, “Children, how hard it is to enter the kingdom of God!
It is easier for a camel to pass through [the] eye of [a] needle than for one who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”

They were exceedingly astonished and said among themselves, “Then who can be saved?”

Jesus looked at them and said, “For human beings it is impossible, but not for God. All things are possible for God.” MARK 10:17-27

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