Withdraw to the Wilderness

Posted by James Hahn on

Luke 5:12-16

Some may read today's Gospel and say that Jesus is acting selfishly. He has the power to "heal their infirmities." He has a gift that makes people want to listen to His words. "But he withdrew to the wilderness and prayed."

Jesus is here giving us a lesson by example. He is showing us that no matter how pressing issues in our life may be, we must take time to pray. We must withdraw to our own wilderness, a room in the back of the house, a chapel, a walk down the street, a park, or any other place where we can be alone with God in silence.

We may very well have the desire to "save the world" or at least solve every problem, our own or those of others, that come our way but God here shows us that we must take time for Him. You and I must gather our strength, recharge our souls, and converse with the Lord in order to do all that He has planned for us.

If we do not, we will begin to try to do things by our own power without God. We will try to accomplish things without His blessing and this will be to our great sadness in the end. Like Samson, who "did not know that the Lord had left him" we will be enslaved. We will be enslaved by works without charity. For as Blessed Mother Teresa said, "The fruit of silence is prayer, the fruit of prayer is faith, the fruit of faith is love, the fruit of love is service, the fruit of service is peace." They must be in correct order with silence and prayer first.

How to get better at prayer.
  1. Set a prayer appointment - Set a time on your calendar each day to meet and speak with God.
  2. Slowly increase your prayer time. - Don't jump in with an hour right from the get-go.  Build up your "tolerance" so to speak.
  3. Commit - to praying and slowly increasing your prayer time for 30 days.  Mark off the days on your calendar.  If you miss a day, jump right back in, don't give up.
  4. Pray - praying is talking to God, it's spending time with your attention focused on Him.  I enjoy spending time with my children regardless of their level of development.  God is the same way.  Spend time praying as best you can.  Use formal prayers if you want or simply speak in conversation.  Don't forget to listen
  5. Journal - Our newly revised 4 Simple Steps to Better Scripture Meditations: Guide, Workbook, and Journal walks you through 4 easy steps that will help you go deeper in your prayer life.  It includes 31 days of workbook and journal pages too!
  6. Read other good books about how to pray better - Prayer PrimerDeep Conversion, Deep PrayerTime for GodThe Spiritual Life: A Comprehensive Guide to Catholics Seeking Salvation

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* Contains affiliate links.  No, that doesn't mean that the kids should leave the room.  Rather, it means that if you click on a link, and if you purchase something, I may get some financial remuneration for that click and buy.  All that means is that my kids will finally get to eat, just kidding but I may get something in return.

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