One of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” (Luke 11:1)
We live in a “plugged-in” generation. We are constantly plugged in to our computers, phones, and tablets, whether we are in our cars, at the dinner table, or exercising. We stay plugged in at the movies, at sporting events, on vacation . . . and even when we are in our quiet time of Scripture reading and prayer with our Lord. It seems as if we cannot exist apart from the ever-expanding world of technology that is available to us today. It’s common for people to approach me after a church service and assure me that when they are looking at their phones during the sermon, they are following the Scripture readings on their Bible “app,” not checking their email.
Unfortunately, as plugged in as we are with all of our technology resources, we are often disconnected from the relationships that matter most at the deepest level of the heart. If we would take our eyes off the screen for a moment and look around us, we might see someone who desperately needs our attention. Perhaps we should all conduct a “technology fast” from time to time and reconnect with those vitally important relationships.
I have learned from personal experience that when I am unplugged, I am uplifted. Jesus did not carry a smartphone with Him when walking the streets of Palestine, but He was totally plugged into the world around Him. From giving sight to the blind to making the lame walk to cleansing lepers to bringing the dead back to life to teaching the truth of salvation by grace alone through faith alone, Jesus met the needs of the thousands of people who pushed in around Him. And yet we read that He frequently took time to “unplug” and be uplifted by His Father in heaven.
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. (Luke 4:16)
One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. (Luke 6:12)
From personal prayer to public worship, Jesus knew the importance of unplugging in order to be uplifted. The question is, Do we? It really is an easy question to answer; simply look at the time you are spending focused on your relationship with the Lord. How consistent is your prayer life? Is corporate worship your weekly habit? Remember this: Not only do the people who matter most to us deserve a little more of our attention . . . so does our Lord!
The more we unplug from the world and plug into the Word, the more uplifted we will be.
This is the Gospel. This is grace for your race. NEVER FORGET THAT . . . AMEN!