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. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed (NIV)
DRAMA! It just seems to me that we have more drama in our life than ever before. One thing is that our society has glamorized drama with all of the reality shows. Some housewife of some city is always doing this or that behind someone else’s housewife’s back in order to get even with the other housewife who is friends with the second one, but each week, they sit down and pretend to be nice to one another. DRAMA! Unfortunately, this kind of drama has become the norm in our society. It is an unrest. It is the lifestyle of the ‘what if…’ People are reacting to what may be, but may never be. They are filled with stress, worry, fear, anger, and speculation. Our minds are spinning between the drama of life, the busy schedules we keep, and the stress of relationships and career. Even our escapes have become drama-filled whether it is nail-biting moments as we watch our team win or lose or the hurriedness of trying to see everything there is to see at DisneyWorld. And I suppose what is even worse is that we have multiple mediums by which we can keep 12 conversations going at once while still playing Words with Friends with three other people we don’t even know that live across the world. Our world is spinning. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Perhaps, one of the worst enemies of prayer is our own thoughts. Filled with whirlwind of issues racing through our life and mind is natural. The sinful nature leaves us victim to fear, stress, and worry. The sinful nature reacts to this by trying to do all kinds of things to keep our minds off of that stress which, of course, only leads to more stress. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
Jesus was no stranger to drama. He was wrapped up as the leader of a movement that was changing the world. It was upsetting the foundation of society being based in Jerusalem at the height of the Roman Empire. He was constantly under watch of the political and religious leaders of the day. He had men following him who simply did not understand his message. A few were always jockeying for higher positions. One was busy betraying Him. Drama. On top of this, the place that God gave Him in society caused many people to follow Him and seek after Him. Lines would form for healing. Crowds would gather for teaching. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
There is something to be said about physically removing our self from the drama-filled, hectic, Calgon-take me away, life that we live. Like fasting, getting away from it all provides a place of serenity where we can focus on the Lord without all of the distractions that come with 700 different forms of social media. During this time of prayer and fasting for Sunday, October 30th – Victory Sunday, find a place where you can get away. It might be in a bedroom, the kitchen, a place on the porch or the backyard. It is not that place that matters, but when you go there, leave your phone in another place silenced. The problems of the world can wait for a minute while you talk and listen to God Almighty. Jesus withdrew from the world to pray. Let us withdraw from the hustle and bustle, run yourself ragged, taxi-cab for everyone, meeting after meeting, tweet after post after tweet…and release your soul to the Lord and listen for His still, small voice as He speaks into your spirit strength, peace, and love.