At our church, we have faithfully maintained a prayer chapel as our mid-week “service” for adults. Please read about this “service” at this link, because today’s post depends on a familiarity with what we’re doing during “prayer chapel”.
I’ll have to admit that it has not been easy to continue doing this. The attendance is really low. It is “odd” compared to our Sunday worship. And, I think people just don’t get it. Many times I’ve been tempted to turn it into a bible study or something. But, God reminds me of His call for Thrive to be known as a house of prayer.
39 Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.
40 On reaching the place, he said to them, “Pray that you will not fall into temptation.”
41 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed
Did you know that during Jesus’ time, the typical “posture” for prayer was standing, eyes open, usually with one arm raised towards heaven? I found that little piece of trivia during my research for a message series about prayer. The thing I found most intriguing was the “activity” among scholars about Jesus’ posture as he prayed. Some suggest that Jesus was so overwhelmed by what was going to take place, that his emotional exhaustion effected him physically. Other suggest that he was signaling reverent intimacy with God, in the same vein as David’s prayer kneeling.
To me, both positions are simultaneously possible. All of the scholars are in agreement that the “jewel” here is that Jesus chose a different posture than “typical.”
Sometimes, you just have to change your posture. You have to take yourself to a different place, mentally or physically, so that you can tune-out the world and focus in on God. That’s why I love our prayer chapel. I can count on an “oasis of peace” – a dedicated hour within the week to be still and know that He is God. I need this oasis, and have to come to rely on it – it is part of my “sabbath practice.”
How do you find your “oasis of peace?” How do you change “posture?”