There we were. Hand in hand. Basking in our romance, in the fading light of a rare breezy evening. Relishing a beautiful moment. Catching a beatific sunset.
Until we were caught out by this handphone photo. It was one of children capturing our secret affair.
My wife and I love walking – in parks, by the waters, on a hill – anywhere that reconnects us with creation.
The secret affair isn’t our walking but our communion with God. We especially enjoy praying to God as we walk. When we walk, we talk to God. We worship him. We ask God – that is what prayer means from the Greek word aitew – for others’ needs and for ourselves. We pray for our leaders, our church, our nation, our world. We pray about our fears and faith.
In a 30 minute walk, you would be amazed at how much you can withdraw from the cacophony of competing voices that mess us up to listen to the only Voice – God’s own – that can clear us up.
Our church has just completed learning from the Gospel of Luke. As I read, I was profoundly struck by the Lord Jesus’ prayerfulness.
Jesus prayed at his baptism and God spoke to confirm his pleasure of his Son (Luke 3:21ff). He prayed and discerned between meeting urgent crushing human needs and fulfilling God’s eternal agenda (Luke 5:15ff). Jesus prayed all night before he handpicked his disciples, including the one who would betray him (6:12ff). He prayed as he revealed both his suffering and his glory (9:21ff). Jesus walked about a 12-mile hike to the Mount Olives after a bruising day of teaching in the Jerusalem temple in the last week of his life (Luke 21:37). Why?
In all likelihood, it was to pray. For that is what we find Jesus doing on his knees at Gethsemane – beseeching his Father to take the cup of wrath yet pleading his strenghtening to face the Cross (22:39ff).
In short, Jesus’ secret affair to loving God and obeying his will at all cost was his deep communion with God in prayer.
Is that the gaping hole in your life? Are these the wrong choices you are making: A life filled with fickle plans, instead of faithful prayer? A week filled with human agendas instead of fulfilling God’s agenda? A day filled with our destructive moments instead of God’s saving moments in your heart and home?
It’s about time we humbly believe in Jesus and emulate his secret affair of praying ourselves out of the depravity of our hearts into the purity of God’s heart. Amen.