Finding that Solitary Place
Jesus sought time alone with God on many occasions, especially in times of momentous decisions. In Lk. 6:12, we find that Jesus went to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying. After this particular time in prayer, He had incredible results. He chose the twelve who were to be His apostles, He healed numerous people, and preached His most recited sermon (the sermon on the mount). You may have heard about the famous sermon by Jonathan Edwards, “Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God.” He actually stood up, had his notes just inches from his face, and read that sermon. It sure doesn’t sound too impressive, does it? What made it impressive? What brought about such awesome results from this message? Mr. Edwards spent the night travailing in prayer over the message and the people who would hear the message. You see, it wasn’t him that brought the results, it was GOD!
In Mt. 26:36 we find that Jesus tells His disciples to sit there while He went off a short distance to pray. In Mk. 1:35 we see that He got up very early in the morning to find a solitary place to pray. Lk. 4:42 mentions that at daybreak, Jesus was going out to a solitary place. Lk. 5:16 reveals to us that Jesus OFTEN withdrew to lonely places to pray.
I know that as mothers, many of us find that it is so hard to find a solitary place to pray. One thing I have started doing is to turn my thoughts upon the Lord as soon as I waken in the morning. I commit my day to Him, asking Him to lead me and to show me what is truly important for me to do that day. Many times, the important things are as simple as listening to Rachel when she wants to talk. Sometimes it is being diligent in disciplining her. Too often, I find myself punishing, rather than disciplining.
Other times, it is learning to stay at home that day and focusing on the house since another day is going to be packed with lots of activities. I tend to stress out quickly on the days when there is much to be done. He has taught me to play soothing gospel music. That has helped me to focus my thoughts heavenward a lot more. I find that in the middle of mopping the floor or cleaning the bathtub that I am worshiping my Master. I am pondering on what the words of the song say, turning them into my own prayer. I am training my mind to focus on Him when unseen things happen during the day. How many of us will put something in a certain place so that we won’t lose it, only to find out later that we have lost the item? I have learned to pray for His help at those times. I walk around, praying, listening to hear His voice. I ask Him to give me a spirit of wisdom and revelation to think where the item is. WHEN I take the time to ask for His help, it never takes more than five minutes to find it. Then, I just have one more thing for which to praise the Lord! It’s also teaching Rachel to look to Father for the everyday things in life.
In I Th. 5:17, we are admonished to pray continually. This refers to abiding in His presence. In Jn. 15 we are told to abide in Him. This is to become a lifestyle for us, not of constantly uttering formal prayers, but rather prayers of all kinds and on all occasions. It can be as simple as hearing a siren, then praying for the people involved (the victims, the police, the fire department, the ambulance drivers, the doctors who are going to be treating the ones being helped….) I recently took Rachel to a local event where she got to climb up inside an ambulance. While there, I told the paramedic that we pray for them anytime we see or hear their sirens. He was touched by that; you could see the surprise in his eyes. I proceeded to let him know that we aren’t the only ones praying. I know of many mothers who are making this a habit, and then passing this godly heritage on to their children.
Father, as the disciples asked You to teach them how to pray, we ask You to teach us how to pray, but we also ask of You; teach us to abide. In the midst of the chaos, the frustrations, the noise, the busyness, teach us how to abide. Amen.
© 2003, Stacy R. Miller