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. (Mark 1:35)
Jesus retreated early in the morning to find a solitary place to spend time with the Father, away from all distractions and noise. He not only got up early, he found a solitary place away from everyone and everything. Rarely am I up for my quiet times before dark. Jesus made this a priority and was very intentional about it. Sadly, too often I do not make this time a priority and I miss out on my time with Him. I jump out of bed and rush into my day, without ever stopping to ask the Creator of my day what it should be like- then I wonder why it doesn’t go smoothly! As I strive to become more like Jesus, I must look at His example. If I want a peaceful day full of His presence, I must seek Him first! If I truly want to be filled with His peace and His joy, I must learn to seek Him and listen to Him and begin my day the way He did!
1. Before dark— Before the sun comes up, everything is still, quiet and at peace. The day has not started yet and everything is still asleep. What a sweet time of fellowship I am missing out on! Father, help me spend this time with You! Help me have victory over the laziness and sleepiness of my flesh and spend this precious time with You. This will not just happen! I must plan the night before, get in bed earlier, and make this time a priority! The kids are asleep, the phone is not ringing, and everything is still- the perfect time to hear Your still small voice inside me!
2. Jesus got up! He didn’t hit the snooze button or roll over for 5 more minutes. He got up out of bed and intentionally moved toward the Father. How many times have I tried to pray in bed only to fall back asleep? How many times do I say just 5 more minutes only to awake with barely enough time to get ready for the day looming ahead? Father, please forgive my selfishness- and I’m the one missing out on the blessings! Help me get up!
3. Solitary Place– Jesus not only got up early,He left the house and sought out a quiet, solitary place completely free of distractions. He had the entire town clamoring and begging for his attention and yet was able to find a solitary place at least for a time. The disciples find Him however and remind Him that everyone is looking for Him. My solitary place is in my home and I often hear “mom” and have my children looking for me just as I sit down. It is such a blessing to be needed, but it is needed to have a solitary place and time with just God to be refilled and refreshed. This is where God can speak peace and give me my plan for the day. Just as Jesus knew clearly what He was to do after spending time with the Father, God will bless me with peace and clarity too if I make time to hear from Him!
4. He prayed. Jesus prayed and He prayed often on all occasions. How prideful and shameful that I all too often try and go through my day without prayer and fellowship with God. Jesus, the son of God, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords needed this time- how much more do I need it desperately! God tells us to pray without ceasing- never stop. Every thought and every breath should bring me closer into fellowship with Him. He wouldn’t tell me to do it if it weren’t possible, so Lord, teach me how to do this! Take my thoughts captive and direct them to You in all circumstances and in every moment! There is not a single moment of my day You are not Lord over, so help me turn to You and sense You constantly!
Lord, transform me as I spend time with You! Teach me to seek You the way Jesus did! Lead me Lord toward my quiet moments with You. Amen.