Have you ever “caught” a habit? Modern corporate culture exudes habits and as a result employees seem to all walk and talk similar to each other. Family culture creates habits. Clicks, gangs, and clubs (from country to hunting) all have habits their members do which identify them as belonging. I remember one friend of mine who went to a Bible College whose President had a persistent throat problem that made him have to “eh hem” clear his throat about every 10 seconds while he preached. EVERY preacher that graduated from that Bible College preached with that same “eh hem” idiosyncrasy, including my “eh hem” friend! Habits can be as simple as greetings and handshakes, or complex enough to baffle outsiders, such as pulling pants down so low and trying to walk! (I hope that one is about over!) If you were one of Christ’s 12 disciples, and you lived, ate, traveled, camped, served, and walked with Him for 2 years, what habit would you have picked up from Him? The one that jumps out of the Gospels I’m convinced is the ONE HABIT that separates people who truly have a deep, abiding relationship with the Father from those who don’t!
Mark 1:35 “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 6:46 “After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray.”
Matthew 14:13,23 “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone,…”
Luke 4:42 “At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them.”
Luke 5:16 “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
Luke 6:12 “One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.”
Luke 9:18,28 “Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say I am?’ About eight days after Jesus said this, he took Peter, John and James with him and went up onto a mountain to pray.”
Christ’s early disciples knew how to get close to the Father because they saw Christ alone with God ALL THE TIME! Alone time with God is not so much a ritual as it is a habit borne from necessity. Should periods of prayer and alone time be considered the “normal” Christian life?
What do you think will be deficient in a Christian’s life if he/she tries to live “the Life” but tries to do it without “secret prayer”?
But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
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.