Dark and Deserted

Early in Jesus’ ministry we find him at Simon’s house healing the sick. Mark states that “the whole city was gathered around the door” (1:33). It appears Jesus was a hit. Regardless of the mission people can be exhausting. Even extroverts need a break every now and then.

What does Jesus do? He doesn’t sleep in. He doesn’t take the next day off. The next day Jesus gets up very early, finds a deserted place and prays. I don’t believe Mark is using this as a prescription for the time of day we are to pray. But I think we can conclude from the inclusion of this one verse that Mark was teaching us how important prayer is for each one of us. It was so important to Jesus that even after a busy evening, he got up early, found a place he could be alone and prayed.

Making prayer a part of our life can be very difficult. To include prayer requires a change in your routine. I’m reminded of what Sarah Young wrote in her best-selling devotional Jesus Calling. “Without any conscious awareness, they make their habitual responses. People who live this way find a dullness creeping into their lives. They sleepwalk through their days, following well-worn paths of routine.”

We need a new routine. One that includes prayer. Pray in the early morning. Find a quiet place and pray during the day. Slip away in the evening. Jesus prayed at different times. Find your time. Find your deserted place. Find your new routine. Find your life that begins in prayer.