Extra Time with God
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, NIV
My day planner was bursting at the seams. Each small square on the calendar was crammed with conflicting responsibilities: children’s music lessons or play practice, church meetings, work deadlines. Even brief moments of social life required budgeting well in advance. I was so busy that I resented the time I had to spend sleeping. And in the midst of my overscheduled life, God continued to call me to spend daily quiet time with Him.
How could I fit in one more thing? Didn’t He understand how important all my activities were? The work of the day insisted on its own urgency, so I often rushed through a token devotion and hurried prayer.
Reading through the Gospels, I discovered that Scripture mentions many times how Jesus went away to pray—sometimes early in the morning, sometimes overnight.
When life is overwhelming, setting aside time for prayer feels counter-intuitive. Surely diving into the work of the day will bring more progress than stepping aside for prayer. Jesus understood the pressure of time. His brief years of ministry were limited, and there were so many people who needed truth, forgiveness, healing. His disciples needed to be taught. The Father’s plan needed to be carried out. Yet He made prayer a priority.
As busy as my life might be, I will never carry the weight of responsibility that Jesus did. He came to redeem the entire human race. Yet instead of frantic urgency, He consistently modeled a life of prayer, of retreat, of seeking a quiet place.
Martin Luther said, “I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” That level of commitment, along with the consistent example of Jesus, inspires me to find my own solitary space and time each day to spend time in prayer.
FAITH STEP: If your day feels too full, take a risk and schedule some extra prayer first, trusting Jesus to provide what you need for all the other responsibilities.
Contributed by Sharon Hinck