Sunday, February 08, 2015

Prayer—it could change your whole day

"Jesus in prayer" by Alexandre Bida

TODAY'S SPECIAL: Mark 1:29-45

TO CHEW ON: "Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed." Mark 1:35

We can learn so much about prayer from what we see Jesus do in this one verse.

  • "Now in the morning..."
Jesus started the day with prayer. Whether one is a lark or an owl, we all start our day after a time of sleep. For most people this is the morning. Prayer was Jesus' first activity on getting out of bed.

  • "... having risen a long while before daylight ..."
He got up extra early to pray. Was something troubling Him that He couldn't sleep? Whether that was the cause for His early waking or He knew that that would be the only time He would be free to pray, on this particular day (and others) prayer was more important to Jesus than sleep (see Luke 6:12).

  • "... He went out and departed to a solitary place;"
For Jesus that meant physically removing Himself from the presence of others to a place that was deserted, remote, and where He was alone with God. We can't all do that literally. And so we must be creative in finding our solitary place. Jesus talked about praying behind a shut door to "Your Father who is in the secret place" - Matthew 6:6. For young moms with little ones, for example, the shut door might be a few moments spent alone in the bathroom or, as it was for Susanna Wesley, behind an apron.

  • "....and there He prayed."
[Pray: To address prayers to a deity; To make earnest request or entreaty; to address by means of prayers; to ask, earnestly entreat.]

  • His prayers made a difference to the day's activity - Mark 1:36-38.
We don't know exactly what Jesus prayed. But His decisiveness later when He insisted they go to the next towns instead of returning to Capernaum may have been a result of His time in prayer. When Simon found Him and told Him, "Everyone is looking for You," Jesus knew  what was to be next, and it wasn't going to be dictated by what the crowds wanted. His agenda had, no doubt, been influenced by the time He had spent with God in prayer.

PRAYER: Dear God, please help me to realize the importance of prayer to each day's activities. Help me to view prayer not only as asking, but as a time of needed togetherness with You, when I can receive Your perspective on the day ahead. Amen.

MORE: "Christ be in My Waking" - Stuart Townend

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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