“Withdraw Often to Pray”
March 8, 2019
How often should we pray? Jesus prayed frequently. God’s desire is that our relationship with him would be robust and alive, which means coming to him for more than a few minutes of prayer time on Sundays or a few times a week. Prayer is our open line of communication with the Father.
Luke tells us “Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). Two words stand out here: often and withdrew. These two words provide a model for preparing to pray.
“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.
Jesus made a priority of his relationship with his Father. Even when he had heavy demands on his schedule, he took time to pray. He took time away from his human relationships and responsibilities to make time for his heavenly Father.
Building a relationship with a new friend requires us to reach out with regular communication. Building relationship with God is no different. God is literally waiting to hear from us! Most of us stay in communication with our closest relationships throughout the day, reaching out with a text message when we have a question or see something funny. We share our lives with each other continually. God wants that kind of relationship with us, a kind of connection where we reach for each other throughout our day. Frequency in prayer builds intimacy in our relationship with Jesus.
What would it look like if you created some margins in your day instead of scheduling tasks and appointments back to back? What if you set some reminders in your phone throughout the day to remind you to connect with God, or set a regular appointment in your calendar? Those gaps give the Holy Spirit some space to speak. Prayer is about talking to God, but it is also about hearing Him talk to us as well.
Ask the Lord to show you spaces in your life that can be set aside for him.
Keep a list of prayer topics: Pray to see God’s goodness in your life, for friends and family, for God’s help and guidance, pray for leaders, pray scriptures, pray with others.