“But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But he would withdraw to deserted places and pray.”
Luke 5: 15-16
“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.”
Mark 1: 35-39
Even though Jesus was often surrounded by crowds, (something we are avoiding these days!), he also spent time alone.
Jesus took time to pray. Think about that remarkable statement: He was the Son of God, a miracle-worker who cured diseases, a teacher of unfathomable wisdom, and yet, he took time out of his busy schedule to pray regularly! Our Lord and Savior modeled for us a disciplined prayer life, by setting aside a time to pray regularly, each and every day.
This season of Lent is all about the spiritual disciples of fasting, praying, and reading the scriptures. Now more than ever, I believe we are being drawn to do these practices. Today, I want to share with you three lessons we learn from Jesus’ prayer life.
First, he found and time and place where he would not be distracted during his prayer time. In the passage from Mark, it was a deserted place, early in the morning. Our contemporary “social distancing” may actually be helping us to find that quiet place to pray!
Second, he deliberately said “No” to other distractions, even the legitimate distractions of people seeking Him. He made prayer a priority. Although most of us are staying home, it is still easy to become distracted. The news, and home projects we may have been putting off clamor for our attention. Jesus tells us to set those things aside, in order to pray first. “Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God.”
Third, it seems Jesus received important guidance from His father during his prayer time. This guidance gave him direction and energy for His ministry. In order for the Lord to guide us, we need to be listening. Listening can occur when we slow down our lives, by stopping to pray.
My hope and prayer for all of us, during this strange time is that we will not forget to set aside time to pray. There are press conferences nearly every day, and lots of news, and many distractions in our media-rich society. Yet my hope is that we make prayer a priority. Like Jesus, we may find it to be one of the most important things we do each day…
Prayer for the Day
Even while we are “social distancing”, keep us faithful to you. Like Your son, make we each find a special time and place, within our homes, to spend with you, each and every day. Guide us, reassure us, comfort us, and love us when we come before you in our prayer time. We pray this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.