“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 (Italics and Bold added for emphasis).” Luke 5:15-16
We read often that Jesus Christ, the Son of God who embodied the power and authority of his Father, withdrew often to lonely places and prayed. Even though Jesus had plenty of things to do, good things, great things, God-honoring things, that could have preoccupied his time, he chose to withdraw to lonely places and pray. His ministry was at its peak, people were hungry for his wisdom and desired to be healed of their sicknesses, and his days could have easily been full of preaching, healing, traveling, and performing sign and wonder after sign and wonder, yet he still withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Jesus was in perfect union and communion with the Father, but he was also fully man. In being man he donned man’s weakness, man’s shortcomings, and man’s struggles. He fully felt what it was to be tempted, how it felt to be prone to wonder, prone to leave the God he loved. Yet he never sinned, because he withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Jesus sought the Lord because he needed God’s strength. How much more do we need to seek the Lord for our peace, hope, love, and strength?
We have lost the life-enriching skill of withdrawing to lonely places and praying. As your life continues to clutter with “essential things” and as your vocation reaches the peak of importance, are you withdrawing still to lonely places and praying? Where does your strength come from? If your strength is refreshed from your own well that you dug with your own power, that well will turn to dust. If your strength comes from the encouragement of others, their applause will cease. If your strength comes from anything other than that which is eternal, it will be destroyed. Where does your strength come from?
It is crucial that we seek the Lord, pray, and even more so as our time is increasingly demanded. For the Spirit is our strength and without Him we can do nothing because without him we are nothing.
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him.” Psalm 28:7
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