“But Jesus Himself would often slip away to the wilderness and pray” (Luke 5:16).
Our Lord felt it necessary in His public ministry frequently to withdraw from the crowds for time alone with the Father. In so doing, Jesus may have been communicating to us one of the secrets of interpersonal ministry, namely personal time with the Father. Indeed, the secret to effective praying is effectively praying in secret.
Praying alone, in private is biblical. Isaac went into the fields to pray and meditate. Jacob remained on the eastern bank of the Brook Jabbok. Moses hid in the clefts of the rocks on Mt. Horeb. Elijah withdrew to the lonely crest of Mt. Carmel. Daniel remained on the banks of Hiddekel. On one occasion Paul arranged to go by land while his associates traveled by ship, perhaps to use the time alone for prayer (Acts 20:13). John, though not of his own will, prayed alone on Patmos.
To follow the example of Jesus, it is important to recognize the necessity of drawing apart with God. Much personal discipline is required in personal prayer so that it becomes a holy habit!
Lord, sometimes my days are so full and so rushed, and yet, Jesus was never so busy that He couldn’t stop and reach out to those around Him. If His life of constant ministry was fueled by His prayer life, that’s what I want to do also. Teach me, Lord, to find opportunities to withdraw from my busy life to sit quietly in Your presence.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry(Chapter 25, Disciplines of Personal Prayer by Dan R. Crawford). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God as a rock of refuge, as a shelter, as a safe dwelling place (Ps. 31:3, 20). Give thanks that you have been rescued from forces in this world that would have overwhelmed your soul. Confess those times when you have paid little attention to the safety and refuge he offers. Commit yourself to remaining under the shadow of his protection. Ask God to shelter you this day.
Pray that God will be especially close to those Christians around the world who are imprisoned or persecuted for their faith. Ask that they may sense your prayers around them like a shelter and a cloak of protection.