Bible Passage for Meditation: Luke 4:42-5:16
Key Verse: “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed.” Luke 5:16
Have you ever come to the end of your vacation and found that you were more tired than you were when it began? I remember thinking at the end of a recent vacation, “This is craziness! What’s the point of taking a vacation when it is just about as exhausting as work?”
With the constant rush, ever increasing stress and overwhelming busyness of our daily lives, we all are in need of a true get-away, but what type of getaway should we be seeking? First, we should ask, how did Jesus deal with it all? After all, He had more pressure, more potential stressors, and greater responsibilities than you or I will ever face.
In Luke 5:15, we find a glimpse of Jesus exhausting schedule. “However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities.”
Talk about a time of high stress and incredible opportunity! As a pastor, if the multitudes were gathering at my church to hear the gospel and to be ministered to, I would feel that this was the moment to shift into overdrive! Clearly, this would not be the time to withdraw and get away from the multitudes. Or would it?
The story continues in Luke 5:16, “So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.” Wow! Jesus’ example reveals the importance of getting away. And for the Son of God, there was no greater joy, no greater relaxation, and no greater way to meet the pressing needs around Him, than to withdraw and take some time pray. But, while we all have things we like to withdraw to when that moment for much needed rest comes, this seems to rarely be for the purpose of prayer.
Recently, my wife and I decided to try and follow Jesus’ example literally. We had a few flexible days in our schedule, and decided to use the time to withdraw and pray. This was honestly harder to explain to some well meaning friends and family than I imagined. It’s simply not something that we do these days. But I can honestly say, those few days were some of the most refreshing days I have had in a long time. At the end of the time I told my wife. “Why don’t we take vacation time to do this every year?”
So I ask the following to challenge you as well as my own heart: What if we really lived like Jesus? What if our ultimate get-away was to run to God and pray?
Heart Prayer Challenge
Precious Father in Heaven, Forgive us for looking to worldly diversions to renew our strength rather than to You, the source of all true rest and strength. Forgive us for forgetting that in Your presence is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11). Give us a heart to pray! Teach us to withdraw from our busy tasks (even ministry labors) for the purpose of prayer. Increase our faith in Your power to do greater things in answer to prayer than we can do through our feeble efforts. Please pour out Your Spirit of prayer upon us (Zec. 12:10). Pour out Your Holy Spirit upon our Church. We want to follow Jesus’ example! And we want to go home. In Your Precious Name, Amen.
By Zac Page
(Zac is pastor at Templeton Hills SDA Church, in Templeton, California. He and his wife, Leah, have been married seven years and speak at revival and prayer retreats. To read more of Pastor Zac’s personal testimony, CLICK HERE.)
NOTE: Many of you have written asking for more information about fasting. We have just uploaded a document on our resource page that gives more thoughts on Fasting and the Daniel’s Fast specifically. You can locate this document to download by CLICKING HERE.