Jesus made time alone with God a priority, and taught His disciples to do the same: “The apostles gathered to Jesus and told Him all things, both what they had done and what they had taught. And He said to them, ‘Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest awhile’ For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. So they departed to a deserted place in the boat by themselves” (Mk. 6:30-32).
So, if time alone with God is going to be a part of our busy lives, like Jesus, we’ll need to be intentional about it. It might mean taking a day off work or out of our weekend. It may mean hiring a baby sitter. Some churches and ministries give or even require their staff to take a day off with God. Husbands can watch the kids so their wives can get away. Friends can help each other by offering their home, cabin, or condo for a retreat location. But whatever it takes, it will be worth it in terms of your own spiritual health, and for those with whom you live, work and serve.
Lord, my life is crammed full of “good” things to do…things that are godly and will advance Your kingdom…things that are helpful and useful! Sometimes I feel that if I don’t work harder and more that things won’t happen as they should. Forgive me for feeling that everything depends upon me and my efforts rather than upon You. How I have neglected to draw apart from the busyness of this world and follow the example of Jesus, who consistently desired to reload His spirit with the refreshment You gave Him…and long to give me if I will stop long enough to receive it. Slow me down, Lord, so that I might reflect the nature of Jesus, doing and saying only what comes from You.
–Adapted from Giving Ourselves to Prayer: An Acts 6:4 Primer for Ministry (Chapter 28, Personal Prayer Retreats by Cynthia Bezek). This book is available at prayershop.org. Use the code CONPSP3 at checkout to receive an additional 10% discount.
Praise God for the joy and peace he brought to the world through Jesus! Thank him for bringing joy and peace to your own life. Ask God to show you any ways you inhibit the joy or peace of others. Confess those ways, as well as any anxiety. Commit yourself to rejoicing continually, handing anxieties to God, and living in the peace which he then gives (Phil. 4:9).
Pray that your local church will be authentically known as a joyful and peaceful people. Ask God to work through world mission efforts to spread true joy and peace to the farthest parts of the earth.
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