In Mark 1, the very beginning of Jesus’ public ministry is recorded. Mark tells us that it all began when ‘Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” (Mark 1:14-15)
And from that moment, he hit the ground running! In the days that followed, he called his disciples… cast out demons…healed the sick… it was incredible! People were amazed at his love, his compassion, his miracles and his teaching. You’d think at that point, with so many awesome things happening and so much momentum, that Jesus would just keep going from one opportunity to the next.
But what Marks says that Jesus did next was completely unexpected. In the midst of all this ministry, Jesus stopped. One morning he got up and he didn’t teach, he didn’t cast out demons, he didn’t heal. Instead Mark tells us that, ‘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.’
As much as he wanted to be out among the people, loving them, teaching them, helping them…he knew that there was something far more important that he needed to do that morning- spending time with his Father. Through his time with the Father, Jesus received encouragement, wisdom, direction and power. And through his prayers, God moved in the hearts of some people to join Jesus in the work he was doing, and he moved in the hearts of others to believe in him.
The fact that Jesus drew strength and power from these times of prayer with the Father could be clearly seen in his life when he was done. Mark says that as Jesus was finishing his time of prayer, the disciples ‘… found him, (and) they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
Can you see how Jesus was fired-up to meet people at their point of need and share the good news of God’s love, as a result of his time of connection with the Father? And I’m thinking if the Son of God needed this, how much more do you and I?
So, as I try to follow the example of Christ, my 30 day adventure assignment for today: Get alone with the Father… and pray. I’m praying for a closer connection with Him. I’m praying to be filled with His Spirit. I’m praying for those I’ve already met on my adventure so far. I’m praying for those I’m going to meet in the days ahead. And I’m praying, as Jesus did, for more workers for the harvest. Will you pray with me for these things today? Will you pray and commit to be one of those workers that Jesus prayed for?