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)
The next morning Jesus woke up very early. He left the house while it was still dark and went to a place where He could be alone and pray. – (Mark 1:35, ERV)
Early in the morning, Jesus got up, left the house while it was still dark outside, and went to a deserted place to pray. – (Mark 1:35, VOICE)
Though I wake early every morning, before sunrise, to spend time with the Lord and do my devotions, I seldom find the solitude that I seek. Between two energetic dogs and a variety of household distractions, I must be very intentional to find the solitary time and space that I need to start my day well. Jesus modeled what we ought to do to spend time with the Father in prayer. It makes me wonder if Jesus was naturally an early riser too, or if He struggled to rise early, but did so anyway. Passages like this remind me that Jesus was God in the flesh, yet He had the same sort of challenges that we do. He had to leave the house before daylight to find a solitary space to pray and focus on time with the Father. I know there is no set time that we are meant to seek the Lord, however, for me, early morning works best. Because the nature of my job is busy and ever-changing, it makes all the difference for me to begin my day with Jesus, as my heart is set right and I am reminded anew, of the importance of choosing to love in all that I say and do. When I seek Him, I am equipped to love as He loves. This is an ongoing, lifelong process, as there is a perpetual battle between God in us and the world around us. We are constantly pulled in two different directions and need Jesus to choose the way that is best. May we ever seek the Savior in prayer, for as we do, He shows us how to live and love as He intended, and He equips and empowers us to be His hands and heart to those around us.
To choose seek the Lord,
To live purposely.
The love and goodness,
That comes from the Lord;
Is freely given,
Yet often ignored.
We must choose to seek,
Spend time in His word;
And His way is heard.
Help us, Lord Jesus,
To ever seek You;
To lead and guide us,
In all that we do.
Dear Jesus, thank You that You modeled how to spend intentional time with the Father. Thank You that we can get away from distractions to be with You alone, when we make an intentional decision to seek You and set all else aside. Forgive us for the times that we have allowed the distractions around us to interfere with time in Your presence. Teach us to continue to seek You in solitude to learn and grow as we pray, listen, worship, and spend time in Your Word. Teach us each day to listen and follow Your heart in all that we say and do. Lead us to love those around us as You designed us to love. May many come into a lasting relationship with You. Be glorified O God, as we set aside time each day to be in Your presence, pray, and listen to Your leading. Transform us, O God, so that we clearly reflect Your love. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Grabrick and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present
Look to the Lord and His strength; seek His face always. – 1 Chronicles 16:11