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Little Rock Connections: The Good News for Today
June 2020

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Where Is Your Mountain?

by Christina Delaney

Are we waiting for just the right time to pray, 
or are we listening for God's voice at all times?

Author's Note: When I wrote this article, we were not yet in quarantine. We were going about our busy lives, perhaps not making as much time for prayer as we desired. Today, things have changed for many of us—we may have more time for prayer! This may be a silver lining to the tragedy of the Coronavirus pandemic. I hope this article will be especially meaningful for you during this time.

One thing we often crave is quiet time spent with the Lord. We have good intentions to devote more time to prayer in every season: New Year’s resolutions, Lenten practices, summer outdoor time, or fall by the fire. God’s Word breathes into us whether we’re quiet and alone, or when we are with others. Are we listening?

Look at the movements of Jesus. He was often surrounded by those who were drawn to him, but he still made time to go away by himself and pray. In Matthew 14:23, for example, we read: “[A]fter he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray” (see also Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16). 

When we read that Jesus taught with nature parables, I imagine him observing how nature gives us perfect lessons (e.g., flowers in Matt 6:28; seeds, soil, weeds, and wheat in Matt 13). He likely formed these teachings while listening to his Father during quiet prayer time as well as while spending time in the company of his friends. I picture him walking with his disciples near plants springing up from different kinds of soil, teaching about the kingdom from what was in front of their very eyes. We can learn from Jesus how to be constantly aware—and thus prayerful—every day.

Awareness is key to unlocking the messages that are so often offered to us in the ordinary. Recently, for example, while on a silent retreat, I watched a ladybug crawling along a window ledge. I marveled at this tiny, perfectly-made creature, going about her business in search of whatever it is that ladybugs seek. God created her and cares for her! Sharing space in the presence of this small insect reminded me of Matthew 6:26: “Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?” Our heavenly Father watches over all of his creations! That’s a prayerful lesson, inviting us into the message that we are deeply loved. 

These moments of awareness beckon us to spontaneous prayer. We don’t need to wait for what we think is the perfect time or setting—God provides! It may help to write about these experiences, drawing us more deeply into “prayer from God’s end,” as I call it. Two examples from my prayer journal follow.

Observing the full moon one evening as I drove across a river, I looked for the moonbeam’s reflection on the water. As I inched across the bridge, I saw only patches of reflected light here and there. Still, it brought joy to my heart. As I came to the end of the bridge, I saw the patches join together to form a path of light across the water! And I prayed, “Lord, I see that we are each called to reflect your light in the world, sometimes only in patches. When we join together, we make a path of light leading to you. Keep shining on me!”

A few years ago, I picked up my son from college at the end of the semester. The students had to clear their belongings out of their dorm rooms for the summer. There were only two elevators to carry students, relatives, computers, TVs, suitcases, boxes, and carts. I was struck by the patience, friendliness, and diversity of the students: boys, girls, black, white, Asian, with nose piercings, without piercings, and so on. I imagined that if each of us were to meet elsewhere, we may overlook or even feel disconnected from one another. In the community spirit of the hallway and elevator, however, we were for a brief moment “family.” I prayed, “Lord, may your family be my family. May I always appreciate you in others, and may I often experience such elevator moments.”

We may not always be able to go up a mountain or kneel in a church to pray, but we can listen to God speaking to us all day long in the moments he sends. And that is a most beautiful form of prayer. Breathe in God’s Spirit, and listen to God speaking to you on your mountain, wherever it may be!



Christina M. Delaney lives near Annapolis, Maryland, where she is learning how to live as a bereaved parent, but still finds joy in awareness, Scripture, and spending time with her husband, surviving children, and grand-twins. Tina is a long-time Bible study facilitator at her home parish of Holy Family in Davidsonville, Maryland. Her blog can be found at ponderingchrist.org.




Summer Bible Study? 

Summer Bible StudyThis will be a different kind of summer for many of us. We may travel less and be home more. It’s a great time to sink into Scripture! Why not reach out to a few friends and make arrangements for safe, socially-distant gatherings or online meetings? Our all-new study The Sermon on the Mount is only four lessons—a perfect length for summer study! And remember, we have resources to help you get started with online gatherings at our Special Resources page.


Lectionary-Based Bible Study Is Coming!


We’re excited to introduce our new lectionary-based Bible study series to you in the coming months! Ponder: Contemplative Bible Study follows the Sunday lectionary, helping you explore the Sunday readings and pray with them using lectio divina and prayerful reflection. Ponder can be used by individuals or groups. More to come soon!



Pandemic Poem by Laura Kelly Fanucci

Laura Kelly FanucciHave you seen the popular poem “When This Is Over” by Little Rock Scripture Study author Laura Kelly Fanucci? Here’s an article about it in America magazine. You can enjoy Laura’s blog at motheringspirit.com, and you can enjoy her LRSS Alive in the Word books at littlerockscripture.org/aitw. Laura has written beautifully about Grief, Dashed Hopes, and Mercy.


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