Read: Matthew 14:23
And after He had sent the multitudes away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
Reflect: Jesus, more than any of us, knew the value of being alone and praying; taking the time to find quiet and connect with God. Jesus was always with people and He knew that in order to be effective in His Father’s work He needed to be alone. Solitude is crucial for all of us no matter what our occupation is. Time alone with God is an investment in eternity. It is never wasted time. It takes time to connect with God. It takes quiet to hear His voice and deal with the deep issues we all face. It takes time to get refreshed by His Spirit. This is time we should see as a privilege not a labor of love. When I take time away, alone with God, a crazy and amazing thing happens; I find myself with thoughts like, “Nothing in the world matters except Him. Nothing counts like being with Him and having Him be with me.” Jesus said in Matthew 6:6, “Go into your room, close your door and pray.” When we get alone, deep life flows between our hearts and the heart of God. It is here He explains life to me. It is here He corrects and resets me. In Mark 4:34 we are told, “When He was alone with His own disciples, He explained everything.” In the same way, when I am alone He explains things I cannot get anywhere else. When I am alone He heals and restores me. Practice being alone! Take time out of your busy schedule and sit with Him. If you will stop and sit with Him, you will receive more than you could ever ask or think.
It is here real devotion is grown. Devotion to the things of God; devotion that comes from deep inside. Not a surface thing but a deep life connection with God. This only comes when we take time alone with Him. Prayer and devotion always go together. The Bible tells us in the book of Acts about a guy named Cornelius, Acts 10:2, “He was a devout, God-fearing man, as was everyone in his household. He gave generously to the poor and prayed regularly to God.” It is no accident that Cornelius was both generous and prayerful. I am fairly certain his prayer life and his devotion to God allowed God to form a generous heart in him. I am also pretty certain that when you and I go alone with God and devote ourselves to Him He will do the same thing in us. He will remove jealousy, envy and greed, and replace them with forgiveness, love and generosity.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, please call me to yourself and teach me to take time away from others to be alone with you. I want to grow in you, Father, and I understand it takes time alone, time away from the crowd. Please move in me to chase after you in my time alone with you.