Luke 5:12-16: While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, “Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean.” Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!” And immediately the leprosy left him. Then Jesus ordered him, “Don’t tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them.” Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Yesterday I participated in a time of global unified prayer, where many thousands of people from around the world came together on the Bible page on Facebook and prayed for our nations and for the world that they might know Christ. It was a deeply moving experience knowing that so many were praying at the same time! I spent the time slowly walk around my house, initially praying, ‘Come Holy Spirit’.
My time of prayer was very powerful, God gave me several statements that became the focus of my prayer:
‘As a nation, 1 by 1 we need to confess our sins and seek a pure life.’
‘You are my God and I will worship you with all my heart!’
‘Lord I humble myself, I turn from my wicked ways, I yearn to be in your presence Lord!’
And these prayers connect with the reading today! When Jesus healed the leper the greek word for ‘clean’ is Katharisai which literally means to be cleansed from sin, to be purified, to be free from the influence of sin. And a key part of my prayer time yesterday was exactly this, that in seeking after Jesus I am washed clean. Sin no longer has any influence on me!
Over my holiday these past two weeks I have become more and more convinced of the need to be in the presence of God. And the Bible is clear, this is only possible when I am pure of heart. So I immerse myself in the Word of God, I pray often, I seek Katharisai (being cleansed from sin) and I open myself to the leading of the Holy Spirit. And these are very simple activities.
In the midst of my complex life, that which is most important is actually very simple: being in the presence of God. But to make this happen, like Jesus, I need to ‘withdraw to a lonely place.’ Not necessarily somewhere out in the wilderness, but to find a quiet, private place to immerse myself in the Bible, to pray and to deal with my sin.
And the effect this has on me is well expressed in my final prayer yesterday: ‘Lord I want to radiate with your Love!!!!’
God bless ya,
Rev Mark Brown
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