Seeking Solitary Spaces

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed. – (Mark 1:35)

Despite the crowds and the chaos that seemed to find and follow Him wherever He would go, Jesus found a way to make time to pray. He established time to connect and communicate with His Father. If Jesus was intentional to create time to connect with God, how much more so should we do the same? In today’s fast-paced world, it is not easy to find a solitary place to pray. We too, must be intentional with our time to make a place in our day for prayer. What I have discovered is that when I consistently make room, I find it is far easier to rise early and be focused than it ought to be, considering the chaos and lack of sleep that occurs some weeks. He is faithful to meet me each morning, as I make the decision to dedicate this solitary time to commune with Him and study His word. I have friends who are faithful to end each day in the same way. Where I would struggle to remain awake, they find themselves energized and encouraged. May we each embrace our own opportunities to seek solitary places to pray. For He is faithful to meet us each time we earnestly seek Him.

To seek a safe space,Believe Instead of Striving

where we are alone;

to come before God,

as He’s on His throne.

For in solitude,

our hearts shall be shown;

how great is His grace,

and the depth we’re known.

For as we choose pray,

seeds of faith are sown;

God’s Spirit waters,

and hope will have grown.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that we can seek You in solitary places to pray, where distractions are far from us, and You meet us, and speak to our hearts. Thank You that You are faithful and loving, and that You encourage, instruct, redirect, and empower us as we pursue You in prayer. Forgive us for not being intentional to establish time with You. Teach us to trust You more with our time and space, so that we would be willing to do whatever it is You ask to create a time to be with just You. Thank You that You desire to spend time with us. Lead us to love others with a love that embraces hurting hearts and points people unto You. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we seek solitary spaces with You to pray, so that we may be equipped to love as You love each day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Answer me, O Lord, out of the goodness of Your love; in Your great mercy turn to me. – Psalm 69:16

Our Provider

We are currently in the midst of a series at church, where my pastor is unpacking the roles of Jesus. Yesterday, the topic of study was Jesus is Our Provider. Among the many names known for the Lord, Jehovah Jirah means, our provider.

 

During Jesus’ time on earth, He proved to be a provider to many. Just after Jesus had learned that His cousin, John, had been beheaded by Herod and was setting out by boat to a solitary place, the crowds followed Him on foot, and in their zeal to see Him, arrived before Him. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, He had compassion on them and healed their sick. – (Matthew 14:14) More than that, it was on that same occasion that Jesus fed the multitude from five small loaves and two fish. Again, the Lord saw the need of the people, and He provided.

 

God wants us to trust Him with our time, talent and treasure. In return, He gives us enough to sustain us and to give away. Even when it feels like we don’t have what we will need, the Lord wants us to ask Him to provide for each day, and He is faithful to meet us accordingly. When Jesus taught us how to pray, He said to say: “Give us today our daily bread.” – (Matthew 6:11) We are to ask for what is needed today, and let tomorrow worry about itself. For as our day is, so too shall our strength be.

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus. – (Philippians 4:19)

 

May we ask of the Lord what is needed for this day, and go forth in faith, trusting that He will provide all that we need, according to His glorious riches.

 

Jehovah Jirah,Finding Freedoms Flight

our great Provider;

full of compassion,

true hope decider.

For He has taught us,

to choose ask each day;

for what is needed,

come to Him and pray.

Our needs shall be met,

one day at a time;

enough to sustain,

His power divine.

Let’s bring to the Lord,

time, talent, treasure;

and He will pour out,

with lavish measure.

 

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You are our Provider. Thank You that as we pour out, You provide. Thank You as we trust You with our time, talent and treasure, You meet us where we are at, and grant us the strength and supply as each day comes. Thank You that You even taught us how to pray – to ask You each day for that which is needed, one day at a time. Forgive us for worrying about things too far down the road, or for spaces where we are short supplied. Teach us to trust You more, so that we will seek You first, and ask for that which is needed for this day, as we go forth and sow generously with our time, talent and treasure. Lead us to love well all those whom we encounter, just as You so wonderfully love each of us. May many come into a saving relationship with You. Be exalted O God, as we trust all of our time, talent and treasure in Your hands, and seek You for what is needed each day. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

God has brought me laughter, and everyone who hears about this will laugh with me. – Genesis 21:6

Intentional Time

image from expeditionportal.com

image from expeditionportal.com

“At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place.  The people were looking for Him and when they came to where He was, they tried to keep Him from leaving them.” – Luke 4:42

“Jesus had to get up very early just to get some time alone.  If Jesus needed solitude for prayer and refreshment, how much more is this true for us?  Don’t become so busy that life turns into a flurry of activity leaving no room for quiet fellowship alone with God.  No matter how much we have to do, we should always have time for prayer.” (NIV Study Bible footnotes)

God is so faithful to both meet us and equip us to make a way when we choose to be intentional about making time to be alone with Him.  For most of my life, I have been a sort of “fast food” consumer of my faith.  What I mean by that, is that though I came to know Him at an early age, and understood His truth, I merely offered up quick prayers as I thought about it, but wasn’t really intentional with my time unless I was in a class, traveling overseas with Youth With a Mission, or in a Bible study for that particular season.

Three years ago, maybe more, my church began a study process to help those of us who needed a structure to begin reading through and studying the Bible more consistently.  This particular plan takes us through the entire Bible in one year.  The process is fairly simple.  We read through the day’s assigned passages, listen to His leading, and then write out the specific passage of scripture that the Holy Spirit highlights in our heart for the day.  The following is more of an explanation if you are curious:

S (scripture) – Write out the verse, including the reference of chapter and verse where the passage is found.

O (observation) – Write out any observations I have about the verse.  What does it mean in my own words? What is the context?  Other observations? Etc.

A (application) – How does this passage apply to me in my life?

P (prayer) – Write out my prayerful response.

In order to complete this process daily, I discovered it was necessary to rise extra early.  Being a morning person naturally, the early end of the day made the most sense for me.  Though there are days when my 4am alarm feels a tad too early, I find that I am always encouraged, energized and equipped for my day, by being intentional in my time with our Maker.  He always meets me as I am intentional to set my eyes and heart on Him, and He is faithful to whisper the words that my heart needs to hear.  I never cease to be amazed at how what I hear from Him in the morning, prepares me for something specific that I encounter in my day.  It is remarkable how dramatic the change in our lives and hearts, when we purposefully choose Him first.  It is both exciting and baffling to see what He is doing in and through me, simply because I am will to be available.

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You sent Your Son to make the way for us to enter into relationship with You.  Thank You too, that He modeled for us, how to be intentional in our time with You.  Forgive us for being “fast food” followers, and help us to order our days so that You are a priority and not an afterthought.  May our words and our deeds and the meditations of our hearts be pure and pleasing to You.  Lead us to love like You so that many may know and receive Your love.  Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present