From Monday, I will be taking a 10-day break from the blogging world and Facebook. In meditating on this verse this morning, I suddenly saw it in a new light:
Luke 5 : 16
But Jesus often withdrew into lonely places and prayed.
I suddenly saw “lonely places” as more than just “quiet”. In other versions “desert”, “deserted places”, “desolate places” or “the wilderness” are used instead of “lonely places”. But each one of these expressions conjures up a feeling of intense loneliness and desperate need of being quenched. In “the wilderness” of our hearts, we cry out to God for His Love. In the “desolation” of our hearts, we crave His filling. In the “desert” of our hearts, we quench after His Living Water like never before. We turn to give our all to Him, so that our all becomes Him: our life, His Life. And in so doing, we truly slow to “Keep company with Him and [really] learn a life of love.”.
If you too are joining many of us this year in a period of prayer and fasting, you may like to join me in this prayer:
Father God, in these coming days of fasting and prayer, please take me to the “wilderness” and “desolate”, “desert” places of my heart. Please show me just how much I really need you, by showing me how little I am without Your Love. Break my pride, so that I too might love “extravagant[ly]” as you do us, rather than “cautious [ly]” as I do now (Ephesians 5: 2). Uncover the “lonely”, quenched places in my heart, so that I will thirst and hunger after You like never before, so that I will begin loving you from all that is within me, as you turn to fill the dry and arid places within me, quenching my thirst and stilling my hunger with Your Word of Love. Father God, I thank you for this opportunity to incline my heart toward you and I pray that you would use it mightily to make me a blessing in the lives of others, by teaching me how to give everything of myself to You, for You, Lord are our Life itself.
I look forward to returning here Thursday week, in 11 days, to share what God has been working in my heart. Until then I pray that God would bless and keep you in the coming days…