Prayer and Purpose
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
- Mark 1:35
This is where Jesus went to re-engage with his purpose in life: a solitary place for prayer. Throughout the Gospel accounts we see Jesus slipping off to pray. What is he doing there?
Fresh off of a huge and meaningful season of ministry success, Jesus could have gone a number of different directions. He could have stayed put in Capernaum and created a base of operations. He could have taken his ministry to Jerusalem, the seat of Jewish religious and political power. Or he could itinerate around Galilee and Judea. What would he do? How best to advance his mission? How best to live out his destiny?
If anyone should have been capable of going it alone and making the decision without outside input it’s Jesus. God the Son – sent with a clear mission – could surely have chartered his course alone. But he didn’t.
Jesus took time to pray. He disconnected from his activity and busyness. He gave up sleep. He left the places of noise and comfort. And he connected with his Heavenly Father. That connection clarified his vision, kept him on track, empowered him to keep going. It wasn’t that the Father is in some way “above” or “in charge of” the Son. It’s just that everything’s better when we’re together; everything’s better in community.
Togetherness and community are woven into the fabric of our world in echo and tribute to our God who lives eternally in tri-unity as Father, Son, and Spirit. And we’re created in the image of this communal God.
What role does prayer play in your search for purpose and your journey to live out your destiny? What are your current rhythms of prayer? What would you like to keep doing in this upcoming year? What would you like to change about your prayer-life?