Going to the Gym: Prayer as Work

Lords prayer 2 3
Building a prayer life

“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.

Mark 1:35, ESV

Why is it that we avoid the very thing that we need so desperately? Lately I’ve been fascinated by my own seeming failure to pray. I am so completely convinced by prayer’s efficacy and power. It works! Spending time with Jesus, covered by his love is the most authentic thing I can do. It clarifies and brings wisdom to this foolish old man.

So why can’t I pray? A private time with God, that is consistent, I suppose is like going to the gym. I need it, but its hard. It isn’t what I want to do. I know its the right thing to do, but I still avoid it. Prayer is quite often spiritual work.

Now conversing with the Almighty really isn’t like going to the gym. But the deliberate decision to share, and listen (and talk) can be the best thing happening for me… (and for those who must put up with me.)

Jesus did not vacillate on this. It had been a hectic day. But he was sold on the reality of being with his Father. He didn’t need rest, but he did need active prayer. Leading up to this was a very full and substantial day (read Mark 1). There was so much going on, and it was constant non-stop ministry.

In a single day:

  • Jesus Picked the First Disciples
  • Jesus Healed a Man with an Unclean Spirit
  • Jesus Taught in the Synagogue in Capernaum
  • Jesus Healed Many, Many Others
  • Jesus Confronted the Demonic

“And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him,“Everyone is looking for you.” 

Mark 1:36-37

Where is Jesus? He is missing, and a search party finally locates him. He was praying and “working out” with his Father. What a lesson for us! My own days are relatively tamer than Jesus’ day. Jesus prioritizes prayer. It was the first thing he chose to do. It had supremacy over all else. It is worth thinking about anyway.


Photo from: http://howard-carter.blogspot.com/2012/09/we-are-working-our-way-through-sermon.html
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