“She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said.” Luke 10:39
“Ruth approached quietly, uncovered his feet and lay down. In the middle of the night something startled the man, and he turned and discovered a woman lying at his feet.” Ruth 3:8
The previous article on prayer encouraged us not to worry, and this one begins with the same exhortation of Jesus himself as he is confronted with the hustle and bustle of Martha’s desperate ministry! Like many of us, Martha is “worried and upset by many things.” Jesus calms her down and shows her the importance of simply focusing on “one thing.”
We need to discipline ourselves to find the “priority position” to take in our lives. We must find “what is better” and what lasts forever – our intimate relation with Jesus, the ultimate kinsman redeemer. It is a place of listening to His word – a place of obedience and submission. Mary found this place at Jesus’ feet. Ruth, at the feet of Boaz, also gives us some beautiful insight into this priority position of prayer. Let’s take a quick journey into Chapter three of the book of Ruth.
“My daughter, should I not try to find a home for you, where you will be well provided for?” Ruth 3:1
“Wash and perfume yourself, and put on your best clothes.” Ruth 3:3
Confess and repent of your sins, washed in the cleansing blood of Jesus. May the incense of prayer and worship arise from our contrite hearts and may we clothe ourselves with the fruit of the Spirit and with power from on high.
Colossians 3:12-14, gives us a whole wardrobe of “best clothes”. Compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, patience…and the “overalls” of love!
“Spread the corner of your garment over me, since you are a kinsman-redeemer.” Ruth 3:9
How we need the garment of grace to approach our Lord. This is not our own garment but it is given to us freely. As Christ spread out his loving arms on the cross to embrace fallen humanity, so he extends his individual grace to each of us and clothes us in his righteousness. “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21
There is a wonderful promise attached to the place of prayer. It is a “leitmotif” which runs throughout the Bible and which we will look at in the following studies. It is the wonderful promise of provision and answer which Ruth hears through the affectionate, intimate words of Boaz:
“And now, my daughter, don’t be afraid. I will do for you all you ask.” Ruth 3:11
and which we, modern Ruths, like Jesus’ own disciples, also hear.
“You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.” John 14:14