“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:32-35, NIV).
It is not only once that Jesus is giving us an example how and what for to pray. In the gospel according to Mark (as well as in Luke 4:42) Jesus’ prayer is an example for us when to pray. This is perhaps one of the most difficult examples to follow today. But before you continue on reading about it, turn your attention to what happens before Jesus goes to pray in the morning. Throughout the whole evening before that he is surrounded by people who are sick and demon-possessed – and they want healing. And after this, as well as all the other busy days that have passed, Jesus does not try to seek an excuse but gets up before the sun has come out completely and talks to the Father.
For most people today the morning has to do with awakening, followed by quite some stress around the trip to work or school… And yet, in between of all this there’s somehow time for a coffee, a smoke for some, and perhaps a quick and unhealthy snack. But there seems to almost never be enough time for God. Thus, day after day a large number of Christians are overcome by the daily routines, stress and demands without even noticing it. Some new believers manage to find a free slot for God in the mornings, but as they grow older in their faith often things change and prayer becomes just one of the things Christians do. So far for the intimate conversation with God that all of us can remember from their first days in the faith. As we have mentioned not only once in our devotionals, in no case should we think that the longer we’re Christians the less attention we ought to pay to prayer. It never becomes automatic.
So, do not seek excuses from last night, but set up a plan of how you will make more and more time for God in your mornings. We all are facing the temptation to excuse ourselves before God because see, last night there was something weary and tiring, and now we have to hurry for the next thing. Instead of excuses, we should be lifting up petitions for forgiveness to the Father and our Savior. We cannot call ourselves Christians and yet find silly excuses while we manage to spend hours watching movies, news or checking Internet sites. If it is difficult for you to find time to pray in the morning – set the cheap excuses apart and see what you can actually do to change this reality and pray after you wake up.
Begin your day with God and you will continue your day with God. This is just another reason to give your best to pray in the morning. When your day begins in a bad way it often happens that it continues so till the end… When you wake up angry or upset very few things can change you for the rest of the day. In the same way – if you wake up and start your day with God, it is more likely that you will continue your day with Godly thoughts and being close to Him… as opposed to being trapped in the worries and demands of the everyday life around. Notice that even Jesus – God’s very Son, the holy and immaculate one, finds that it is important to pay attention to His relationship with the Father and the Spirit with the break of the day. And if He who is one with the Father and the Spirit does so, then how much more do we have to? Nothing can excuse the lack of action on our side if we don’t follow Jesus’ example.
Psalm 119:147 reads: “I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word” (NIV). Don’t be late to do this yourself!