We must be ready to allow ourselves to be interrupted by God. —Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Life Together
You know what’s great about lonely places? No one can hear you talk out loud.
When Luke writes that Jesus withdrew and prayed, he uses a unique word for prayer—echomai. It means to pray out loud. When Jesus sneaked away to these lonely places, He’d pray out loud—with His actual voice. No one was around to call Him crazy.
During these prayer times, Jesus found guidance, discernment, intimacy, and relationship. Good news, friends: Because we are indwelt by the Spirit of Jesus, we will find these same things during our sneaking away.
Many people approach prayer with the question, “What would Jesus do?” rather than “What will Jesus do?”
“What would Jesus do?” advice sounds like this: “Get a scheduled prayer time going. Start with mornings and slowly work your way up to a whole weekend. Cumbersome, I know, but if you want to be like Jesus, you need to be committed.”
This doesn’t sound so great. Plus, this isn’t what Jesus did. Instead, He listened and responded to the Father’s invitation to slip away and spend time together.
What does that invitation sound like?
It’s simply a desire to spend time with God. Sometimes exhaustion, sadness, or just being “peopled out” will prompt it—but not always.
Mark 6:30-31 tells us, “The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.’” This is what you’d call a busy ministry season!
This is what Jesus did, and it’s what He continues to do. His Spirit will invite our spirits to get away with Him. As we surrender to the indwelling Spirit of God, we’ll learn to recognize those prompts that have been there all along. We’ll hear Jesus inviting us, we’ll get away and rest—who knows, we might even pray out loud with our actual voices!
Jesus, increase my sensitivity to Your invitations. Show me how I can purposefully slow my pace and quiet the noise of a busy schedule so I can hear You. Invite me, again and again, to come and rest with You, Jesus. I pray I’ll respond like a reflex of the Spirit. Amen.
Learn more from Pete’s teaching on Luke, What Will Jesus Do?