We’re continuing our study of the building blocks. Have you completed your Soul Care Plan for 2018? Soul Care Plan Link Today’s topic is building block “Q”, for Quiet Time.
As you read, consider: What might God be saying to me? Summarize your thoughts in a sentence or two.
My thoughts (Jeff Miner):
“His face changed.”
That’s the phrase in today’s scripture that leaps off the page and arrests my attention. The phrase, found in verse 29, refers to Jesus. So what was it that made Jesus’ face change? The fuller quote is as follows:
“While he was praying . . . , his face changed.”
The text doesn’t tell us exactly how Jesus’ face changed. As a kid, I always imagined that his face began to glow. Maybe so. But my adult minds sees the story differently. As Jesus makes his way up the mountain, I imagine he is feeling the weight of the world on his shoulders. His face is drawn and tired. But as he begins to pour out his soul to God, as he unburdens himself, facial muscles drawn tight from stress begin to relax, and before long, a refreshing smile breaks across his face. So that when the disciples finally awaken and see Jesus somewhere in the middle of his prayer time, he looks like a different man. Before he was tense, now he’s relaxed. Before he was somber, now he’s laughing.
“His face changed.”
Prayer offers us the same promise. Time spent with God changes our countenance. Good prayer, cathartic prayer, relaxes us from the inside out, so much so that observant people around us can probably actually tell when we’re “prayed up” and when we’re not. They can see it in our faces.
A few years ago in a sermon I shared a story about a woman named Cathy Fussell writing in a magazine called Today’s Christian Woman. There, Cathy talks about how much more easy going she is when she makes time to read the Bible and pray in the morning. One morning, she says, she convinced herself she didn’t have time to pray and jumped right into her daily routine. Before long, her young son, Andrew, spilled his drink all over everything. Cathy went off! — until her little boy looked up at her with innocent eyes and said, “Mom, did you forget to ask Jesus to help you be nice today?”
I wonder how often our family and coworkers want to ask the same question.
Today’s scripture story is often called “The Transfiguration.” While praying on the mountain, Jesus was transfigured. Prayer has the same affect on us. So which you are people seeing today? The stressed out person who was in too much of a rush to pray, or the transfigured one who is ready for anything?
Thought for the day: If you want to practice cathartic prayer today, go to the link below called How To Pray. This link appears at the end of each Be Still devotional. There you’ll find a list of searching questions under the heading Conversation Starters. Answer a couple of those questions honestly and authentically in God’s presence — and feel the stress relief that results.
We encourage you to include a time of prayer with this reading. If you need a place to get started, consider the guidelines on the How to Pray page.