Spiritual Health: Pray Amidst Busy-ness

Written by Paul Hwang (South Korea)

Paul is serving in FCA Korea as Area representative for Osan. He is passionate about getting to know God and equipping athletes and coaches to evangelize and make disciples.

April 9, 2024

“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 (NIV)

I have learned from experience that whenever I try to set aside time to pray, the first two reasons that come to mind are “I need more sleep” or “I have too many things to do.”

The statement “I don’t have time” that stops us from praying sounds like an extremely simple fact when it’s just a mathematical calculation of time.
“My day, which only has 24 hours, is already full, so I can wait until tomorrow to pray,” we think.
But what did Jesus think?
Our Lord never thought of it that way. 

For three years, Jesus and his disciples lived a very intense life.
When one thing was done, the next was waiting.
As soon as they began their fellowship in Mark 1, Jesus was teaching in the synagogue, rebuking unclean spirits, healing Simon’s mother-in-law, and working late into the night healing all manner of sick people and casting out demons (Mark 1:14-34). 

He barely had time to eat, and His relatives thought He was crazy (Mark 3:20-21).
Crowds flocked to Jesus all the time.
People were always seeking Him out, and He willingly gave them His time and care.
Reading the Gospels, it seems that during their three-year public ministry, Jesus taught, healed, and cast out demons almost every day.
Despite this lack of time, Jesus never once skipped prayer.

“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.”

Unlike some of us who, when something important comes up may value the task more than the time we have to personally connect with God, Jesus never did. 

This fact gives me great inspiration and insight.
Jesus did not live a high life, ignorant of the challenges we face in life.
He was tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin (Hebrews 4:15).
Jesus was exposed to the temptations of a busy life that could have been sinful.
But He didn’t sin.
Jesus was busy, but He did not allow this to make Him anxious, irritable, proud, envious, or preoccupied.
This was impossible because Jesus is the Son of God and He is God.
He was 100% divine and 100% human.
There was nothing preventing Jesus from being tempted to sin, but He was sinless.
He always went off to a secluded place to pray, and that’s one of the differences between Him and us.

If Jesus had his priorities so closely aligned, so should we.
We need to put our energy into a life where prayer is the foundation of everything, a life where busy-ness includes time to pray.
We should strive to live lives where nothing else takes precedence over prayer, which is communion with God. 

You who have no time, pray for a moment.

Prayer & Reflection

1. Why did Jesus pray while it was still light in the morning (Mark 1:35)?

2. How many of your prayers in a 24-hour period are focused and take your energy?

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