Lonely Places and Prayer

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There is something about prayer that demands that we be alone with God.This is of great importance in today’s world when we are distracted much by our busy schedules, pressures of work and family, sounds and sights of cities, and television, internet and mobile phones.

Jesus set us an example in being alone with God. Luke records this about him: “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16). We often forget this important aspect of Jesus’ life.

Yet these quiet times with God while he was alone gave him the strength to come out into the open and minister to people. It was in these lonely places that he talked with his Father in heaven and also received strength from the Spirit of the Lord upon him. Without such times of prayer, even Jesus would have found it difficult to meet the needs of people. Because while doing so, power went out from him (Luke 8:46). Therefore he had to receive strength from God to minister to people; therefore he had to spent time in prayer.

If the Son of God found it an absolute necessity to find a quiet place to spent time in prayer, how much more we should attempt to do so. He was always kept busy that he at times never got a chance to eat (Mark 6:31); yet he was never too busy so that he could not find time to pray. Never ever forget that without times of prayer when you are alone with God, you are as good as wet gunpowder. It has the potential to explode; but its entire power has been drained away. Or in modern terms, you are like a mobile phone which has lost its charge. As you know you cannot use that device without charging it once again. Yes, times with God in prayer when you are alone are exactly the times you get yourself recharged.

We find this example in the life of Joshua. Not only was he a great spiritual leader but also one of the finest military strategist the world has ever seen. He achieved greatness by following the Commander of the army of the LORD (Joshua 5:14). Also, after every significant battle Joshua would return to the base camp which was Gilgal (see Joshua 10:15, 43). Gilgal was the place where God had renewed his special relationship with the people when all the people were circumcised and God rolled away the reproach of Egypt from them (Joshua 5:9). So Joshua operated from that base camp where he would have definitely spent time with God in prayer seeking his help and guidance for battles ahead. So the question is, do you have a base camp like this? Do you have a Gilgal in your life? If not, now is the time to set up a camp for prayer.

Jesus encouraged us to seek our Father in heaven in secret: “But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” (Matthew 6:6). Though prayer while you are with a few other people in church or in a meeting is important, it can never take the place of praying to God when you’re alone with him.

The times when you are alone with God is life-changing as well as life-charging. See what happened when Jacob was left alone (Genesis 32:24). God himself wrestled with him, emptied Jacob of his self-reliance and blessed him with a new identity-Israel. He limped the rest of his life as a result of his encounter, but God’s power was made perfect in his weakness (2 Corinthians 12:9).

So dear child of God, so far in life you’ve somehow managed to give an impression that you’re having a close walk with God. Even though you were able to impress others with your talents and ministry, in your heart you’ve known the truth that you have run out of power. So humble yourself before God today. Do not wait for the right time to start praying. Why not right now ask your Father in heaven to forgive you for neglecting times alone with him? That itself will get you started praying. Do not neglect the example Jesus set for us-he often withdrew to lonely places (it can be a quiet spot within your room itself) and prayed.
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Favourite article: Prayer Life of Jesus Christ

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