As this season of Advent begins, it is wise to reexamine our hearts with regards to prayer. Do you hurry through your quiet time so you can get to other things? If so, consider the values Jesus modeled for us in His practice of setting apart time to spend with His Father.
Solitude. Though the Lord was constantly surrounded by people as He tended to their needs, He also understood His own need for seclusion. Often, after an intense period of ministry, He would retreat from the crowds—and even His disciples—to pray in private.
Safeguarded time. No matter what else was going on, Jesus made it a point to protect periods of time so He could rest in the Spirit, focus on His relationship with the Father, and build up His physical and emotional strength. Even when people were clamoring for Him, Jesus made it a priority to safeguard this time, knowing that His ministry would flow from it.
Stillness. What does it means to be still? Psalms 46:10 calls us to stillness with these words: “Cease striving and know that I am God.” To learn this perpetual inner peace, periodically stop everything you’re doing, and simply let your soul become aware of the Holy Spirit’s presence. In today’s reading, David described it as the state of a “weaned child” who is at perfect rest and happy just to be in his mother’s arms.
If you make these a priority, you will reap tremendous benefits. Doing so may seem challenging. But when you quiet your heart before the Lord, you’ll discover how much you need the peace of His presence. It is a priceless gift.