REFOCUSING our PRIORITIES EVERYDAY: Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed. And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When they found Him, they said to Him, "Everyone is looking for You." But He said to them, "Let us go into the next towns that I may preach there also, because for this purpose I have come forth." (Mark 1:35-38)
Our Lord Jesus was a very busy person after he started his public ministry, as he was always surrounded by people who wanted to witness the various miracles that He performed and hear the wonderful words of wisdom from his mouth. Even after ministering the whole day, people would still come to him in the evening time after the sun had set and bring sick and demon possessed people for healing (v. 32). In fact, he was so much in demand that Mark records in verse 33: "and the whole city was gathered together at the door" where Jesus was. In order to avoid further publicity, Jesus even told the healed individuals (1:43, 3:12) or, the demons (1:34b) not to speak about Him. However, the news that Jesus was a healer spread rapidly, and many sick and demon possessed came to Jesus and He healed them all (v. 32-34).
In the midst of such a busy schedule, Jesus rose up early in the morning before daylight, and went to a “solitary” place and spent time communicating to His heavenly Father. This was the time for Him to prayerfully refocus His priorities. This is evident due to the fact that when His disciples came to Him and told Him that everyone were looking for Him, Jesus wanted to move on to the other parts of Galilee and reach other people in Judea as well. This new direction was only due to Jesus being able to refocus His priorities through prayer!
Jesus saw the need to gain inner refreshment, renewed intimacy with God, and strength for facing the challenges before Him. He opened His ear each morning to receive instructions for the day from God the Father about how He will accomplish His work for that day. If Jesus felt the need of this early morning quiet time, how much more should we! Notice too that He prayed when it cost Him something; He rose and went out a long while before daylight. Prayer should not be a matter of personal convenience but of self-discipline and sacrifice. Through an early morning prayer, we too can understand what God wants us to do during that day, which in turn will help us to refocus our priorities every day!
"The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned. The Lord God has opened My ear; and I was not rebellious, nor did I turn away." (Isaiah 50:4-5)