After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. — Matthew 14:23
Do you ever feel like your day is just too hectic to squeeze in time alone with God? We all have days like that, don’t we?
It turns out that even Jesus occasionally had to work at it to find time alone with His Father. For instance, Matthew 14 opens with the account of why John the Baptist was beheaded. Then Jesus fed the five thousand, and later He walked on water. Those are big events, and it’s easy to miss what Jesus did in between. He went looking for solitude in order to pray — twice. The first time is in verse 13, when He had just heard about John’s death. However, the crowds heard that He had taken a boat to a solitary place, and they followed Him on foot.
Though most of us don’t have crowds following us around, we do run into obstacles to our time alone with God. Texts, e-mails, and phone calls can reach us anywhere. Kids who usually can’t be pried away from a screen suddenly need us right now. Our own minds light up like pinball machines, pinging from one concern to the next. How we need the quiet!
So how did Jesus respond when He saw the crowd waiting for Him on shore?
He had compassion on them and healed their sick. — Matthew 14:14
and then He fed them all. He might have been tired and disappointed; He may have been aching with grief for John the Baptist. But He was tenderhearted toward the people who needed Him.
Then He tried again. He sent the disciples ahead on the boat, and He dismissed the crowd. Then, finally, He had time by Himself on the mountainside to pray.
If Jesus, who is one with the Father (John 10:30), sought time alone with the Father, how much more do we need it! We may have to try and try again. That’s okay. God is still there, waiting to welcome us.
Dear Lord, thank You for all that we learn about You from Scripture. Please help me to respond with compassion when I am needed at inconvenient times. Help me to keep trying so that I find my time with You.
Excerpted with permission from Devotions from the Mountains by Lisa Ham, copyright Thomas Nelson.
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It’s 2018! Happy New Year from all of us at Prayer.Full. Let’s start off the New Year right by finding some time today to get alone with God and talk with Him! Come share your thoughts with us on our blog. We want to hear from you about praying like Jesus did!