"Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sickness. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed."
Whenever work picks up, I'm faced with the challenge of scraping together more time to hit my deadlines, and I'm especially tempted to cut back on family time, prayer time, or personal maintenance time such as reading or gardening.
Throughout busy seasons, we run the risk of becoming disconnected from our families, from God, and from a personal sense of focus and peace. And when we experience success, it's equally tempting to build on our momentum. So how do we keep ourselves properly grounded when our lives become busy and the opportunities we've been hoping for begin to open up?
Today's passage from Luke 5 shows us the way forward: schedule time for prayer no matter what.
Jesus was in the midst of a productive season of ministry. He had made tremendous inroads with the people. Wasn't it his goal to reach as many as possible? Wouldn't he be looking to build on his momentum?
Perhaps conventional business wisdom suggests that Christ should have pushed himself harder, spared no expense of time and effort to expand the reach of his ministry, but he didn't. He shut everything down to pray.
Jesus was far more concerned with preserving his relationship with his Father than expanding his ministry. It was so important to him that he withdrew when he was wanted the most.
Whether you add a daily prompt or schedule a block of time for a personal retreat each week, make spending time with your Heavenly Father the highest priority in your life.
Are there prompts you can add to your calendar or devices to remind you to step back for prayer?
Where could you withdraw for a quiet moment with God each day?
What is the task or event in your week that is most likely to cut into your prayer time?
Our Father, forgive us when we place our work and personal interests ahead of our time with you. Remind us of your love and mercy, and lead us to quiet places where we can rest in your presence. Amen.
READ THE PASSAGE IN CONTEXT:
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing," he said "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him. Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them." Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.