Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Sometimes life can get stressful and hectic. I know that only too well; we were a member of staff down in my department last year, and we all had to work extra hard to compensate. When I’m feeling stressed and under pressure, I like to go and think and refocus for a little while, free from the many interruptions of my busy daily life. I have a fantastic little place where I go for peace and quiet known only to me. I’d love to tell you that when I’m in my quiet place I think spiritual thoughts and spend the time in prayer – that’s what you might expect to hear from someone who runs a Christian website. But more often than not, I don’t. Just like many of you, I suspect, I find prayer hard. My mind whirrs away, and, whilst trying to take my worries to the Lord in prayer, those things I should be doing always pop into my mind; have I marked those essays? Have I remembered to pay my credit bill this month? What’s on at the cinema tonight?
In today’s verse, Jesus escapes from the crowds that have been following him for the last few days, desperate for him to heal them or to cast out demons. Jesus wanted to escape for a bit of peace and quiet. And what did he do when he was there? He prayed to God the Father. I think that’s quite a powerful message for us. Jesus was so close to God that he was God, yet he still turned to God the Father in prayer. He still wanted time to speak and listen to his heavenly father.
What a great model for us to follow. When we’re busy, tired and stress, we too should take time out to just be peaceful and pray.
I’ve said I find this difficult myself, so please do not think for one moment I have this sussed. But I’ll do a deal with you – if you try harder to follow this example of Christ, then I will too. Perhaps we can support each other. Let me know in the forums how you get on.