Discovers God's Agenda
early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His
way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.—Mark 1:35
It was common knowledge among the disciples that they would find Jesus
praying during the early morning hours. When they needed Him, they knew to go to
the place of prayer. When Judas betrayed Jesus, he led his cohorts to Jesus'
place of prayer.
Every time the Lord Jesus faced an important decision, He prayed. When He was
being tempted to do things by the world's methods instead of the Father's, He
prayed (Matt. 4).
When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed the entire night (Luke 6:12). If the
Son of God required a night of prayer in order to determine the Father's mind,
how long might it take us in prayer to clearly determine our Father's will?
Because Jesus was so often surrounded by crowds, He knew He must find a quiet
place so He could clearly hear His Father's voice. Jesus had many people seeking
to influence the direction of His life. His disciples wanted Him to go where the
crowds were (Mark
1:37). The crowds wanted to crown Him king (John 6:15). Satan
tempted Him to make compromises in order to draw a following (Matt. 4:3, 6, 9). Jesus knew that
His mission was not to attract a crowd, but to remain obedient to His Father. It
was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus' ministry (Luke 6:12). Prayer
preceded the miracles (John 11:42–43);
prayer brought Him encouragement at critical moments (Luke 9:28–31);
prayer enabled Him to go to the cross (Luke 22:41–42);
and prayer kept Him there despite excruciating pain (Luke 23:46).
Follow the Savior's example, and let your time alone with God, in prayer, set
the agenda for your life.—Experiencing God Day by Day