The Secret to Life and Strength

“He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray.”—Matthew 14:23 Most of us are living on the edge of a great secret.

God has been speaking to me about my prayer life.  As a believer who has walked with the Lord for many years, taught the Bible, and served in ministry, one might think I have achieved a level of closeness and deep understanding with the Lord.  I certainly feel loved by Him, but He has been inviting me to something deeper, following the example of Jesus.

Jesus had just heard terrible news. King Herod had ordered the beheading of John the Baptist.   When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place” (Matthew 14:13).

Faced with tragic, heartbreaking news, Jesus knew He needed to get away to be alone with His Father.   

But the crowds continued to follow Him by foot, so “He had compassion on them and healed their sick.”

He took care of them, ordering His disciples to feed the people a miraculous meal that fed thousands of people with five loaves of bread and two fish.

After Jesus had prayed for the people and fed them until they were satisfied, He finally did what He needed to do:

“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd.  After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.”

During His ministry, Jesus often went away to pray.  He needed to temporarily escape the press of the crowd and the multitude of needs.

This is the secret of His life and strength! He found a place of daily intimacy with the Father.

The disciples recognized that.  They saw Jesus retreat, then come back strengthened and refreshed in a powerful way. They knew something happened to Him when He stole away, so they asked Him to teach them to pray (see Luke 11)!

They wanted what He experienced in the secret place of prayer. I want that too!

There’s more to prayer than we have been experiencing.

It begins with taking time every day to spend time alone with our heavenly Father. The precious time will make a tremendous difference in your life.  I know. I am learning, and experiencing God in a deeper way.