This devotional is about Luke 5:15-16: “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Three years. That’s how long most scholars think Jesus’s public ministry lasted. Compared to most adult lives, three years is a pretty short time. Compared to eternity, which the Son of God has lived, three years is nothing. So, Christ had to make the three years he lived on earth count. He had three years to leave volumes of teaching material, gather followers, die for our sins, rise again, and commission his followers to take the gospel around the world. He did not have a lifetime to get all those important things done.
Yet, as interest in his ministry grew (v. 15), the Lord “…often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (v. 16). If they knew how short his life would be, some might have argued that prayer was not the best use of his time. Surely the time he spent alone praying could have been spent teaching or calling disciples. Christ had spent eternity communing with the Father and Holy Spirit; surely he could talk to them less often in order to accomplish more with his life. Then, when he returned to the Father, he’d have all the time eternity allows to communicate with the other members of the Trinity.
Clearly, Christ did not view prayer as a waste of time. Nor did he consider to be of little importance or low on his list of priorities. Just the opposite; his life and his mission were too important for him not to pray. Although he was busy and pressed for time, Jesus made time frequently to pray.
When life gets busy for you, do you neglect your time of prayer? Is prayer so low in importance and priority to you so that you only squeeze it in occasionally? Does prayer get cut from your day when there are high demands on your time?
If Jesus made time to pray when he had only three years to change the world, surely you and I should make more time for prayer than we do. Make prayer a priority in your life, not an afterthought.