“And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
Mornings have always been a challenge for me. I am not a morning person. At least, at the beginning of my ministry. I would get out of bed at the last minute to shower, no breakfast, and out the door to my first appointment. I didn’t ‘wake up’ until about mid-morning and eat a candy bar and Pepsi for my late breakfast. No time to prepare myself for the day. No time to spend time with God. Barely enough time to get everything done in the day that needed to be completed. I felt important because I felt busy.
But that all came crashing down when my son was shot in 2006 while serving in the Marines in Iraq. We received the call and it turned our world upside down. He nearly died from the blood loss. However, he recovered and had a month of rehabilitation at Bethesda Naval Hospital. I went out and spent the whole month with him. It’s a month that has defined who I am as a father and a Christian.
I am very familiar with hospitals. As a pastor, I spend quite a bit of time visiting people in the hospital. But I wasn’t visiting for a few minutes nor was I a patient. I had all day for many, many days looking for something to do. So I picked up a Bible and started reading it.
I’ve read the Bible through a couple of times in my life. But this time I read the whole Bible in less than a month. I even started reading it the second time before the time to go home. I left that Bible but when I got home I picked up where I left off with my preaching Bible. Even with my busy schedule I discovered that I had to carve out time to read my Bible. I had created a thirst for God’s Word that nothing else in my schedule could quench.
That is when I started getting up early to read my Bible. I also discovered that early morning is the best time of the day. It is quiet. The craziness of my schedule and the crazies that I sometimes interact with aren’t filling my mind with more crazy. It is just me and God. It is beautiful. It is productive.
When I get up in the morning and make time for God, I am guaranteeing that my most important priority is getting done. Nothing else I do all day will compare in value with my time with God. So even if I get nothing else accomplished, I got my Number One Priority completed.
Christians down through the centuries have set aside a small portion of each day to shut out the world and focus on building their relationship with God. This time has been called many things: Quiet Time, Daily Devotions, The Morning Watch, Time Alone With god. I have always favored the term “Quiet Time.” Your Quiet Time when you get alone with God for the purpose of fellowship and worship. Those who have made their Quiet Time a priority in their lives point to it as one of the main keys to depth in their walk with God.
“The amount of time we spend with Jesus, meditating on His Word and His majesty, seeking His face, establishes our fruitfulness in the kingdom.” Charles Stanley
“Ten minutes spent in the presence of Christ every day, aye, two minutes, will make the whole day different.” Henry Drummond
“We are too busy to pray, and so we are too busy to have power. We have a great deal of activity, but we accomplish little; many services but few conversions; much machinery but few results.” R. A. Torrey
“Time spent alone with God is not wasted. It changes us; it changes our surroundings; and every Christian who would live the life that counts, and who would have power for service must take time to pray.” M. E. Andross
“If we don’t maintain a quiet time each day, it’s not really because we are too busy; it’s because we do not feel it is important enough.” George Sweeting
“Don’t pray when you feel like it. Have an appointment with the Lord and keep it. A man is powerful on his knees.” Corrie ten Boom
Notice how Jesus did had His quiet time. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” (Mark 1:35)
Following a busy day and before another day began He got up early to spend quiet time with His Heavenly Father. Late hours did not keep Jesus from His appointed meeting with His Father early in the morning. He knew that if He was to meet men he must first meet God.
As brief as it is, this picture of Jesus at quiet time is very instructive. He found a solitary place and prayed. Every person has some measure of power. We control our schedule and decide our priorities. No matter how busy you are, you make time for your priorities. The fundamental issue is not how we can cram more into our busy lives, but how we use what time we have. In this sense we might even speak of our Quiet Time as a barometer of faith. If we do not have a Quiet Time, it is quite possible that we are operating on our own agenda and have refused our proper role as ministers.
All Christians need time alone with God. It is vital. But ministers, especially, need to spend time with God. We are examples of what a Christian should do. We are leaders and if we don’t get it right, we will lead a whole congregation down the wrong path. Personally, we need fellowship with God. We were created to have fellowship with God Jesus died so that we could have fellowship. To miss our Quiet Time is to miss our most important appointment of the day.
“If you want to find out what a man is really like, find out what he is like alone with God”
You can read a similar article: 7 Minutes with God.