News about Jesus kept spreading. Large crowds came to listen to him teach and to be healed of their diseases. But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray. Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Luke 5:15-16 (CEV)
How often have you quoted this Scripture passage? Me neither. I remember the passages about Jesus speaking, healing, walking on water, casting out demons, and clearing the Temple. But here is a passage has the word â€œoftenâ€ connected to something that Jesus does. He often would go to pray alone. Do I often get alone and pray?
I know people that go to the gym four times a week without fail. Most of us brush our teeth every day, even twice a day without fail. We eat three times a day without fail. We call our closest family once a week, even every day without fail. We talk to our spouse every day without fail. Does time with God go on my â€œwithout failâ€ list?
People that I know who are strong Believers have invested in their prayer life. Just like an athlete invests in gym location and time, exercise equipment, shoes, and clothes, so these warriors keep themselves in good spiritual condition.
Prayer is a priority. They would give up their prayer time about the same time that they would stop brushing their teeth. Ewww! Time with my LORD was a very locked in time every day when I first made that priority commitment. Setting aside that same time every day got me into a routine and showed me how important the time was. I began to see good changes in myself. I saw answer to prayers. Then the time became more flexible because there are days that I need Jesus’ flexibility. Then my time became 24/7. I prayed in a focused time but I also had ongoing conversations with Jesus as my day progressed.
Prayer builds knowledge and strength. Prayer is conversation. It is me telling God everything that is on my heart. It is also listening to what God has to say in His Word and through His Spirit. Listen. Be quiet and listen. As I learn I am also â€œexercisingâ€ my spiritual muscles by trusting Him and building faith in God. Learning His promises are true. It’s like building blocks that provide a place of shelter when the storms come. (Not â€œifâ€ but â€œwhenâ€)
Prayer is filling. Just as I need good, healthy foods to provide energy and nutrient energy to keep my body going, so I need spiritual nutrients to keep me spiritually healthy. Prayer is a big part of keeping me spiritually fit. It is a prime way for me to receive the fruit of God’s Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23) and focus on what is â€œgoodâ€ from God (Philippians 4:8).
There’s always more when it comes to God. If you have an active, growing prayer life â€“ thank Him today for it. If it is usually â€œhit or missâ€, ask Him to help you make it daily with commitment, a favorite location (quiet and alone like Jesus), a favorite chair, or even favorite music. Our spiritual health is so worth it.
Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus by Helen H. Lemmel (1922) Â Led byÂ Michael W. Smith