Too Busy to Pray?

We are approaching one of the busiest seasons of the year. We already live really busy lives, rushing from the time we wake up to the moment we hit the bed at night. But when the holidays approach, it’s as if the busyness triples. We are swamped with plans to make, gifts to buy, food to cook, parties to attend, deadlines to meet, family to visit, it gets insane!

In Mark chapter 1, Jesus was busy. He had the entire city at his door wanting something from him. He was at Simon’s house caring for Simon’s sick mother-in-law. Then when the sun went down, all the sick and demon oppressed were brought to him. It says the whole city gathered together at the door! Talk about busy, he was swamped! He would spend that entire evening healing the sick and casting out demons.

But what strikes me is what it says in the very next verse. “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” (Mark 1:35) After his long, busy, chaotic night, Jesus didn’t hit snooze for an hour, and the rush out in a hurry late for another appointment. Instead, he was up early to restore and refresh his soul by connecting with God the Father in prayer. He found his joy and strength from being with God in prayer. Prayer was his fuel for his life of ministry. At one point he would even say, “I only do what I see my Father doing.” His life was driven not by the busy-ness, but by his connection with God the Father.

I believe that has some implications for us today:

First, we are not condemned for our failure to pray. Thankfully, Jesus is not just our example, but also our Savior. His death paid for our failure to do as God desires. And by faith, His perfect life is credited to us and is the basis for how God sees and relates to us as Christians. God isn’t pointing his finger condemning us, but rather He’s inviting us, as His children to be with him.

Second, if Jesus needed prayer, so do we. How foolish are we to think that we can function without connecting with God in prayer? He was the sinless Son of God yet knew His deep need for communion with God the Father. How much more so do we who are broken need that? We weren’t made to handle life on our own in our own strength apart from God, but rather with God and the strength that He provides.

Third, morning prayer changes how you engage your day. In the morning, with God, He reminds us that we are not defined by our jobs or our accomplishments or failures. Our worth does not come from our performance. In the morning, before we have done anything, we are reminded who we are as God’s children. Our lives may be busy, but our hearts don’t have to be. Morning prayer, where God meets with us as our Father, lets us engage our day from a place of acceptance rather than in a reckless pursuit for acceptance.

Fourth, prayer is about a relationship with God. Any good relationship requires communication and time together. When we get up to pray and be with God, it fosters and strengthens that relationship with him. It demonstrates that the most important thing in our busy lives is Him. When we meet with God, we don’t have to have all the right words, or say all the right things. Because of what Christ did for us, we can come and sit in the presence of God and enjoy Him, with words or with silence. Either way, being fully present with the living Savior builds our relationship with Him.

Applying this together:
What if more people got up early to pray? What if we helped each other do this? Well, together we can.  On Wednesday mornings from November 19th through December 17th from 6-7am, we will meet in the sanctuary of *New Beginnings Church in Homestead to pray together, for each other and for our city. We would love for you to join us for the entire time or even just part of the time, whatever you can do, before you head off into your busy day.

* – New Beginnings Church is located at 15300 SW 288th St, Homestead FL 33033