“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” (Luke 5:16, NIV84)
Here it is again. Jesus has been preaching and healing continuously. People from every town have been coming out to see Him. His ministry is beginning to really take off. And as the crowds are growing Jesus is withdrawing. Luke tells us in this verse that Jesus made it a habit to withdraw to lonely places to pray. Here I am, saying that I am too busy to properly devote myself to the Word of God and prayer, and the One who I think wouldn’t need to (Jesus) is doing it continually. I can’t help but conclude that I have something screwed up. I am embarrassed when I consider the times I have intentionally withdrawn to a solitary place so I could commune with God. I tend to treat my prayer life like “in case of emergency, do this.” But this is not what Jesus does.
Jesus intentionally and continually goes to solitary places to commune with His heavenly Father. We find Jesus doing this when everything is going right, like in our text today. And we find Him doing it when everything isn’t going so well, like in the garden of Gethsemane. You see, it was what He did. It was built into His daily routine. Jesus, the very Son of God, felt it necessary to stay in touch with His heavenly Father. What about you and me? Isn’t it time that we stop using our prayer life “in case of emergency” and use it as a way to foster an ongoing relationship with God? Before the Fall, Adam and Eve would talk with God. God would come down to the garden and they would talk. We need to resurrect that concept in our lives. We need to be in communication with God at all times. We need to be in His Word and in prayerful communication with Him on a regular basis.
If it was an essential part of Jesus’ life, it probably should be an essential part of ours, too.