Mark 1:35-39

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.  Mark 1:35-39


One word that comes to mind for me when I think about discipline is “routine.”  Routine is important to all of us.  It means a sequence of actions regularly followed; a fixed program.  The routines of our lives allow us to take care of the regular business of life in such a manner that we are free to play with the rest.


Here Mark tells us that Jesus got up very early in the morning and went off by himself to pray.  The early morning is a great time for prayer.  The simply reality is that we are all free to wake up and get up whenever we want to.  No matter what our daily responsibilities entail, we are all free to set aside time in the morning to do what we want to do.  Jesus used some of that time to pray.  Maybe this was his daily routine?


But then life calls and interrupts us, just as Jesus’ companions came to hunt him down.  But Jesus had his own agenda, his own God-given agenda, and Jesus was clear about what that meant for him.  Could there be a relation here, between Jesus taking time to pray, and coming out of that time clear on what his mission and purpose were?


I think so.


The Bible doesn’t tell us much about Jesus’ prayer life.  There are little snippets here and there.  We can trust that it was a very personal and intimate experience for him.  When you pray say, Abba, Father…  We can trust that he valued praying the psalms as those ancient words weren’t far from his lips as he experienced his life.  My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from helping me, from the words of my groaning?  And we can trust, remembering the Garden of Gethsemane, that Jesus’ prayer life dove deeply into the pain that life brought his way.


Is prayer part of our daily routine?


If it isn’t, we might ask ourselves:  Do we think we are smarter than Jesus and we can remember our purpose without checking in with God?  Are we so strong and capable that we can do life on our own power and wisdom without relying on God?  Are we so modern and informed that we no longer need the ancient prayers that have shaped the existence of the saints through the centuries?


Me?  Not so much.  And yet I am nowhere near as willing to simply show up for God, and for myself, as I need to be.  So this morning, it is good to take this time to pray.


Let us pray:  Abba, Father, loving God.  Fill us this morning with your loving purpose for our lives.  Flood us with gratitude and willingness.  Keep our minds and eyes open to the world around us today.  May we, just for today, fully rely on you to have your way with us.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


2 Responses to “Mark 1:35-39”

  1. Phil Kinast Says:

    Your devotions surely have a positive meaning for me! Thank you and Thank God!

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Today’s devotion was a reminder to me to check in with God, just as Jesus did. It also brings to mind this passage from Proverbs 3: vs. 5-9.
    5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil.

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