“Upon your walls, O Jerusalem, I have posted sentinels;
all day and all night they shall never be silent.
You who remind the Lord,
take no rest, and give him no rest
until he establishes Jerusalem
and makes it renowned throughout the earth.” – Isaiah 62:6-7
It feels so easy, for me, to pray and to contemplate the Lord when we are in the midst of celebrating the incarnation. Alas though, in the readings today, the Prophet Isaiah writes, “They shall never be silent. You who remind the Lord, take no rest.” It would seem our call is to NEVER be silent, which means that even after the pomp and fanfare of the holiday subsides, God will want our prayer just the same, and just as fervently.
How then can a person maintain a healthy life of prayer, when we are no longer being bombarded with reminders of our faith in advertising, music, or TV specials? For myself, there is no one answer. Sometimes I find stress makes me more prayerful, other times great joy. Recently I have found that fasting helps to provoke prayer, but so too does fellowship over a good meal. The truth of it is, no one thing will help us to carry our passion for God forward into “ordinary” time. The world today is full of many different catalysts for prayer, some large, like the violence in Syria and Iraq, and others comparatively small, like the desire to be reunited with a friend. I encourage you to find your catalysts and embrace them. Use them to “remind” the Lord, as Isaiah says, of his promise to make Jerusalem renown throughout the earth.
Matthew Bloss works at St. Stephen’s as a member of the Bayou City Service Corps, working in Communications and Youth Ministry. After his time in the BCSC he hopes to undergo discernment and pursue Ordination.