“…Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” –Mark 6:31 (NIV)
I think Jesus’ command to His apostles back in His day also applies to our lives today.
Have you ever had the blessing of getting away from the busyness of life to just spend time being…being with the Lord and enjoying the many blessings that are all around?
…Maybe it was on your vacation where you experienced God’s presence in the beauty of the environment you were surrounded by.
…Maybe you had the privilege of attending some kind of retreat where you had a close encounter with God.
…Maybe you just took time to be alone with Him and experienced Him in the peacefulness and solitude.
Canandaigua Lake, NY
I know this summer I was truly blessed to attend a three day retreat at a place with a beautiful lake setting where you could commune with the Lord in a reflective way. Spending time with like minded people is always a blessing too where you can share your faith with others. It provides opportunities for making new friends in the Lord and learning from other’s stories as well.
Taking time to get away from the routine of life and spend time with the Lord is a necessity especially in today’s fast paced, technological world that we live in.
It is enlightening to read the many scripture passages that show how many times Jesus took time to spend alone with God, His Father, getting away from the crowds of people and even His disciples.
“One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” –Luke 6:12 (NIV)
“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” –Luke 5:15
“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where He prayed.” –Mark 1:35 (NIV)
“After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.” –Matthew 14:23
I encourage you, if the opportunity ever presents itself to you, to attend a retreat or any get together that will strengthen your faith. It will help you refocus and concentrate on the really important things in life once again.
Even taking time daily to go to your quiet corner and commune with the Lord will enrich your spirit and get you in tune with the Creator.
I think the most powerful story of Jesus taking time to pray with God was right before He was going to be handed over to be arrested before being put to death. Jesus knew the most important thing He could do was pray to His Father.
” 36Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” 37 He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled.38 Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. 41 “Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
42 He went away a second time and prayed, “My Father, if it is not possible for this cup to be taken away unless I drink it, may your will be done.”
43 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. 44 So he left them and went away once more and prayed the third time, saying the same thing.
45 Then he returned to the disciples and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Look, the hour has come, and the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 46 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!” –Matthew 26:36-46 (NIV)
Father, may we grow daily to be like your Son, Jesus….taking time to pray continually to you and being one with you. Amen.