James Tissot: The Accursed Fig Tree

One Verb Prayers in Response to Jesus’ Journey to the Cross: Replenish

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Tuesday: A Holy Week practice for many is to read through the daily events for Jesus and his followers beginning with Jesus’ Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem on the Sunday before his crucifixion. We call this Palm Sunday, though palms are not mentioned in the text. For a spiritual discipline to help us join Jesus’ ancient followers in that weeklong, tumultuous, confusing journey, I’ve written a prayer matched to one event during that week. So join me in praying One Verb Prayers in Response to Jesus’ Holy Week Journey to the Cross. 

Today’s verb is Replenish from Mark 11: 20-26:

In the morning as Jesus and his disciples walked along, they saw the fig tree. It was dried up all the way down to the roots. Peter remembered. He said to Jesus, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree you put a curse on has dried up!”

Have faith in God,” Jesus said. “What I’m about to tell you is true. Suppose someone says to this mountain, ‘Go and throw yourself into the sea.’ They must not doubt in their heart. They must believe that what they say will happen. Then it will be done for them. So I tell you, when you pray for something, believe that you have already received it. Then it will be yours. And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.”

The story of the fig tree Jesus curses and then his admonition for us to have enough faith to move a mountain is confounding. I don’t even fully understand these passages much less have that much faith. Which may be Jesus’ point. Understanding does not equal faith. Only belief does. And only God can grow that kind of trust.

Father,

Replenish my frail faith.

In the name of the Father, Spirit, and Son, Amen

If you missed it, here is yesterday’s One Verb Prayer: Throw-over.

3 thoughts on “One Verb Prayers in Response to Jesus’ Journey to the Cross: Replenish”

  1. Georgie Ann Kettig

    “And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against. Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.”

    I think that this very gradually “worked its way” into my “preferences list”,… growing up, I had a very kind family, and I’m thankful to God for all of them,… however, “Life” found me having become “too close” to other types, and the experience was crushing/burning,… to just survive, I had to directly resist the dominating “negative forces” around me, but to regain my “independence” and “re-find myself”, I had to “listen to God”,… and He guided me well,… slowly, patiently,… and with peace,… and healing,…

    I learned to “love this peace”, that grew within me,… so much so, that I became very reluctant to do anything that would disturb it,… disagree with someone?,… a change from directly expressing such things with “confrontational energy and attitude”, became more of an effort to “hold my own peace”, so as not to lose or waste that which was “more precious” to me,…

    eventually, I “learned” that in most things, this “inner peace” was also becoming “my own truth”,… and I could more easily “see” that allowing myself to “enter in” to (the “useless”) conflicts, and gratuitous and demeaning “attitudes” of those around me, was basically “nothing but a lie”, by comparison,… and I developed a very strong resistance to connecting with and partaking in this kind of “personal lying”,… more and more, I could just “let it pass”,…

    initially, all I was trying to do, was to preserve and protect “my own peace”,… but eventually, I also realized that it had now actually become easier, and often preferable, for me to simply release (as in quietly “forgive”) the “agitating party”, allowing them to “go their own way”, without me adding more strident negativity to the sorry load that they were apparently already carrying,…

    over time, this “hands-off” (but prayerful) attitude, has (1) saved me a lot of what could have been “wasted energy” (or worse), and (2) allowed for better “hidden relationship pathways” to quietly and sincerely grow and develop, that have been beneficial, as well as healing, in many ongoing situations ~ family, friends and otherwise,…

    I think that this “story” might be a classic tale of what might happen to “a Southerner” whose family “moves North” during their childhood years,… (as did mine),… God is good, and will help us “grow in understanding”, as we listen to Him, more and more,…

    “And when you stand praying, forgive anyone you have anything against.” ~ “against” is an important word here,… it is an indication of the turbulence and negativity of the “self-willed” and clamorous and demanding world,… in forgiving, we can “let go” and become freer of “its ways”,… when we “give up this fight”, ourselves, we become one less person standing in “the antagonistic line-up”,…

    “Then your Father in heaven will forgive your sins.”,… God gives us the pathway to finding “His peace and our freedom”,… it is an inner pathway, where His Truth, Reality and Love become more real than anything clamoring around on the outside,… in gradually and sincerely “letting go, and letting God”, we find the key, which is His forgiveness and acceptance and love and understanding,…

    He is ready and awaits us, much like the “Father who ran to welcome his prodigal son” back into the fold,… amen and thank you,…

      1. Georgie Ann Kettig

        recently, I had cause to try to evaluate a bit more clearly, this long “process” that has been “going on” within me, literally for decades,… normally, it hasn’t been anything that I would actually “talk” about, but it has seemed to be more like a quiet ongoing internal “coping technique”,… not planned, but happening anyway,…

        what “stands out” to me, is that it really didn’t seem to be particularly “something under my own control” or personal direction,… but was just “happening internally”, as I “went through life”, praying and trusting God,… (and of course ~ “resisting the devil”!),…

        surely, we are all different in many ways, and others will have experienced their own personal lives very differently from this,… but I can say that I was very much inclined to be praying and “holding onto God”, as I was also trying to “handle life” in the best ways possible (for me),…

        perhaps this is an example of a description of “one person’s (me) experience” of “a sanctification process” going on internally, under the influence of, and by the grace of, God and God’s Spirit,…

        what this had me “seeing”/realizing more clearly, was very interesting,… we’ve been told that “the earth lies in darkness”, and that mankind “fell from grace” in the Garden of Eden,… so, apparently, “mankind in general” has been living ~ acting and reacting ~ in a “state of darkness” that they will automatically and compulsively follow, and accept, as being “the way things are”,… even though it leads to many tragedies and disasters,…

        so, when we “turn to God”, sincerely desiring “Salvation” from this/(our) darkened condition, and He accepts us,… and since we really don’t know how to “guide ourselves” into the Full Truth of this new understanding of His Light and His Life,… we pretty much have to “put our hand in the hand of the man” Who died to save us,… and trust in Him,… and I’m now thinking that that is how our ongoing “Sanctification” begins,…

        by comparison to the new-found development of greater “inner peace” and growing resistance to the invasive, willful, and demanding “clamor of the world and the worldly”, we can stand back a bit, and see how the driven, demanding, and “fallen, instinctive nature” of so many is compelling them to try to assert their own will and distorted vision(s) in a myriad of alarming ways,… and it presents a rather obvious contrast between the two different worlds of “darkness and Light”,…

        God is calling us “out of darkness” and “into the Light of His Truth and Love”,… as we turn our attention and faith to Him, trusting and listening, believing and hoping, His great Love will be with us to teach, lead, heal, guide, inspire and console us,…

        Wishing “you and yours” a very Grace-filled Easter, Eugene,… God Bless & thank you again!,… Georgie (-:

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