Author Pete Scazzero explores the biblical story of Mary and Martha. Day 9 of 21 Days of Prayer + Fasting 2019.
“Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village
And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.’” (Luke 10:38-42, NKJV)
Mary and Martha represent two approaches to the Christian life.
Martha was actively serving Jesus, but she also was missing Jesus. She was busy in the “doing” of life. Her life was pressured and filled with distractions. Her duties had become disconnected from her love for Jesus. Martha’s problems, however, went beyond her busyness. I suspect that if Martha were to sit at the feet of Jesus, she would still have been distracted by everything on her mind. She was touchy, irritable and anxious.
Mary, on the other hand, was sitting at Jesus’s feet, listening to Him. She was “being” with Jesus, enjoying intimacy with Him, loving Him and taking pleasure in His presence. He was her center of gravity. I suspect if Mary were to help with the many household chores, she would not have been worried or upset. Why? Because she had slowed down to focus on Jesus and to center her life on Him.
Our goal is to pray unceasingly, to remember Jesus and to be with Jesus when we are serving, like Martha, or sitting at His feet, like Mary.
Prayer + Reflection
1. Lord, grant me the grace to let go of the things that are worrying or upsetting me today.
2. Help me to be still like Mary, to listen and wait patiently for You (Ps. 37:7).
3. Teach me to be prayerfully attentive and to rest in You as I enter into the many activities of this day.
- Soul Keeping: Caring for the Most Important Part of You by John Ortberg
- A Guidebook to Prayer: 24 Ways to Walk with God by MaryKate Morse
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality Day by Day by Pete Scazzero
- Forming the Leader’s Soul: An Invitation to Spiritual Direction by Morris Dirks
- Centers for Spiritual Renewal East + West
- Transforming Center with Ruth Haley Barton
- Pure Desire Ministries
- Heart to Heart Counseling Center’s Clean Class with Doug Weiss
- Crossroads Counseling of the Rockies
- At the Crossroads by Pete Kuiper
- See all recommended resources
Print out the full 21 Days of Prayer + Fasting PDF to follow along in your quiet time.