"We had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel." — Luke 24:21
The encounter between Jesus and the disciples from Emmaus has much to teach us about prayer. The day Jesus rose from the dead was the most glorious day in history. But later that day, the risen Lord assumed the role of an anonymous traveling companion. It's striking that the Lord of glory would so humbly seek out two discouraged individuals.
This assures us that when we feel abandoned by God, he is still present with us. Perhaps we don't recognize God's presence because a difficult situation has taken up all of our attention. But God is with us nonetheless.
Consider too how patient Jesus is as the two disciples talk about the events that took place in Jerusalem over the past few days. As if Jesus didn't know these details! Sometimes in our prayers we pour out everything in our hearts to God. And God listens! But it's not as though we are telling God anything he's not aware of. He simply lets us express ourselves. God is incredibly interested in hearing all we have to say.
When Jesus finally revealed his identity to the two disciples at Emmaus, they were filled with joy. It's the joy we feel when we realize that God is walking with us, listening to us, and sharing his time with us. The Lord who has come to us with humility and grace is the one to whom we can always pray.
Thank you, Lord, for always being with me. Thank you for being so interested in hearing my prayers. When I walk with people who are hurting, help me to lead them to you. Amen.