Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus replied, “We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee, preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:35-39, NLT
I don't pray enough. I'm not even sure it's possible to pray too much!
Jesus gets up early to seek the Father after a late night of serving (see previous verses). I probably would have seen it as an opportunity to get some rest and sleep in for awhile. Maybe even pat myself on the back for being such a good guy... but anyway, Jesus is driven to seek fellowship with the Father. He gets up before the rest of his team and there he is... praying, until...
It's Peter. He finds Jesus (I can hear him panting and out of breath even now) and with a perplexed tone, says: "Everyone is looking for you." It's interesting how much we exagerate to try and get our point accross. "Everyone" was not looking for Jesus but obviously many were. It seemed obvious to Peter where Jesus needed to be instead of hanging out with God. There was work to do and it was looking them right in the face. How much more obvious can things get?
I can idenitfy with Peter. Maybe you're not like me but I like getting things done. I'm a checklist kind of guy. I feel better when I can mark things off of my to-do list. My list stares me right in the face. It's obvious what I need to be doing and that's to get these things done! Is it?
Notice Jesus' response. He does not go back with Peter and the gang; instead, the disciples follow him to another place to continue the ministry. Several things go through my mind after considering this story. First, there is no end to work. There is no end to ministry. There will always be needs to satisfy. There will always be people to serve no matter where you are on this planet. Second, What seems to be an obvious priority or task to be done may not be important at all. Sometimes we get in such a rut we are unable to see over the ledge of our self-made canyons. Third, Jesus knew what his purpose was and he knew how to accomplish it. He knew his purpose and his priorities because he did opposite of what so many of us do. We get up and get going! Jesus got up to slow down.
Prayer is such an amazing opportunity to allow the creator to speak to us by reading his Word and pondering his thoughts. By casting worries and cares at his feet in faith. By allowing him to redirect our steps. Make no mistake. This was habit for Jesus, not a quick fix. If we desire to be led by the Spirit then fellowship with the Spirit is what that requires.