But so much the more went there a fame abroad of him: and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by him of their infirmities. And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.
Jesus’ ministry may have begun relatively unseen along the shores of Galilee, but very quickly He became well-known and started attracting large crowds of people wherever He went. He went from the quiet, private life as Joseph the carpenter’s son to the notoriety of being Jesus of Nazareth. John the Baptist called Him the Lamb of God. A group of called-out men were following Him. Amazing things were happening wherever He went, and that drew the hurting and the sick. He was proclaiming a message, something about the kingdom of God, something about repentance, and people flocked to hear.
Jesus was always willing to get involved in people’s lives and their personal struggles. He was willing to meet needs wherever He went. He came to minister, after all, to give of Himself for the ones He loved. But He also needed that time to Himself away from the crowds, somewhere quiet and calm where He could connect with His Father. As more and more people were seeking Him out, more and more He needed time alone with just Him and God. And even though He had so much to do, He knew it was important to spend time in prayer.
The more we have to do, the more we need to pray. Especially then it is not the time to try to go in our own strength and wisdom. The busier we are in our service to the Lord, the more we need to spend time alone with Him seeking Him and His will. We need fellowship with our Father if we’re going to be useful for Him. We need those moments without distraction to hear what He might say to us. And as more and more people and tasks clamor for our attention, we need to ensure that we stay grounded in our relationship with God. When we keep our focus on Him, we will be better able to help those around us who need what we can offer them.
Are we taking the time to spend quality time in prayer with our heavenly Father? Or do we find ourselves neglecting prayer because we have so much to do? Do we think of prayer as a vital part of our work, or is it more of an afterthought? Do we seek God only when trouble comes, or are we always seeking Him and so better prepared to face that trouble that does come? Let’s recommit ourselves to spending quality time with the Lord in prayer, seeking Him and His guidance, seeking strength and encouragement. When we do that, we’ll be better equipped to face whatever awaits us outside our door.