Today we continue our series entitled, “The Benefits of Prayer and Fasting,” but an emphasis on “The Power of Prayer.” Today we will look at Jesus as an example of a human who prayed to remain in sync with the Father. This is how Jesus was able to bring heaven down to the earth on a daily basis.
In Mark chapter one we see the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus was baptized by his cousin, John the Baptist, in the Jordan river. The Holy Spirit descended upon Jesus and the first thing the Holy Spirit led Jesus to do was to go on a 40-day fast in the wilderness. Now, how was Jesus led? Did the Holy Spirit physically take Jesus by the hand? Of course not. It was an inner-leading. The Father was leading Jesus, through the Holy Spirit, from the inside. Fasting and prayer helps us remain sensitive to this leading. Hearing from God, on this inside, is part of our prayer life.
After having fasted for 40 days, and after successfully resisting satan along the way, Jesus came out of the desert ready to start His earthly ministry. He immediately preached the Gospel of Kingdom of God, He called His first disciples, He drove out demons, and He healed many who were sick.
Mark then says, “The next morning Jesus woke up very early. He left the house while it was still dark and went to a place where he could be alone and pray.” (Mark 1:35 ERV). Jesus’ time with the Father in the wilderness obviously prepared Him for His first experiences in ministry. But Jesus was not going to face a new day without hearing from the Father. He spent time with the Father early in the morning. Simon (later known as Peter), and his friends, went looking for Jesus. When they found him they called out, “Everyone is looking for you!” Jesus was not concerned about that; He was more focused on hearing from the Father in prayer than hearing from people. After receiving His marching orders from the Father (through prayer) for the day, Jesus said, “Let’s go somewhere else. I want to go to the nearby towns. I must preach there also. That is why I have come.” Jesus was completely clear about what He needed to do that day, because He had spent time with the Father, early in the morning, in prayer.
So what does this mean to you today? A few things:
- Jesus spent time alone with the Father. Praying with or around others is fine, Jesus did this too, but there is nothing like giving the Father your undivided attention. Make time to give the Father quality time in prayer.
- Jesus prayed early in the morning. If you are like me, you know that once your day starts rolling it’s hard to slow down. Taking the time early in the morning to pray helps you keep your priorities in order and it will also help you properly order your day.
- Jesus received His “marching orders” from heaven. Jesus prayed early in the morning and when He was done, He knew where He needed to go that day and what He needed to do when He got there. This is the way we are supposed to live. Far too many believers just rush right into their days, and then assume that everything that happens was “supposed” to happen. No! Everything is not magically be the will of God. Jesus sought the will of the Father through prayer. We must do the same!
- You can approach your day two ways. You can let your prayer order your day or your can let your day order your prayer. Let me explain. You can either hear from God, early in the morning, in prayer, and then head into the day informed by heaven, ready to conquer the day. Or you can head into the day without praying, flying blind, and then run into challenges that force you to run to the bathroom or to a quiet space to pray. In the former scenario, your prayer is ordering your day. In the latter, your day is ordering your prayer. I have tried both. Take it from me, letting your prayer order your day is much better. This is how Jesus lived and it is the way we are supposed to live.
Father, this is a season of expectation for me. My expectation is growing, because my understanding of Your will for my life is growing. My eyes are being flooded with light as I pray. Jesus made time to pray daily. So do I. Jesus spent alone time with You and He made sure it was quality time. I do the same. I pray early in the morning and throughout the day. Instead of allowing my day to order my prayer, my prayer will order my day. I receive insight from You, in prayer, and I then tell my day what kind of day it is going to be. Living this way keeps You relevant in my everyday life. Without You I can do nothing. With You I can do all things! I declare this by faith. In Jesus’ name, Amen!
This is Today’s Word. Apply it and prosper!