And immediately he left the synagogue and entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay ill with a fever, and immediately they told him about her. And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her, and she began to serve them. That evening at sundown they brought to him all who were sick or oppressed by demons. And the whole city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons. And he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out.” And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (v. 35). As He begins His ministry of healing and teaching, Jesus maintains regular time spent in contact with God. He shows us what is necessary to be in service to our Heavenly Father and that sharing with Him frequently is part of that process.
Jesus did things to teach us about our our relationship with God but also things He needed to maintain His own relationship. The scriptures mention often that Jesus went out to pray, alone or with a select group of trusted disciples. Prayer was an integral part of His everyday life.
Making time for prayer is essential to our lives as well. Going into the world to do His will is important, but we must have the strength and guidance that only time spent with God can provide. The old hymn tells us “take time to be holy” and prayer is the key.
Gracious God, we are thankful we can come to You in prayer to share our lives and be blessed by time together. Help us to make time in our lives to speak to You and listen for Your response. Amen.