It seems that we have an unwritten motto in our culture that says, "The busier we are, the happier we are." So we strive to be busy. But I think it is a mistake for us to be too busy for people, quietness, or conversation with God.
Consider Jesus' approach. By night fall word had spread throughout the town that Jesus was there and that he had the power to heal people. By dusk Mark says the whole city was at Simon's house looking for Jesus. They brought their sick, "with various diseases," hoping that he would be able to heal them. The disciples had never seen such a crowd. With all those people Jesus must have been exhausted. It was probably late when they all left. Yet early the next morning, before anyone in the house woke up, Jesus left in search of a lonely place, a place where the crowds would be unable to find him, so he could be alone to pray. Jesus, who had given so much of himself to others, needed some time alone with God. He who had given so much; needed some time to receive. That's also true of us. We need to take time to talk with God, so that we gain energy and strength to face the challenges of our lives.
I read a story once of a man who was talking to a minister. The man said, "Hey, you got it all wrong about this God stuff. God doesn't exist. I ought to know."
"Why is that?" asked the minister.
"Well," the man said, "when I was ice-fishing in the Arctic far from the nearest village, a blizzard blew up with wind and blinding snow. I was a goner. So I got down on my knees and prayed real hard, begging God for help."
"And did God help you?" asked the minister.
"Heck no," said the man. "God didn't lift a finger. Some Eskimo appeared out of nowhere and showed me the way to the village."
What this man didn't seem to understand is that God works through you and me. There will be times when our prayers will not be answered the way we want them to be. But prayer is answered. Sometimes the answer is "no." And another important thing--we should not allow our prayers to become a time when we list all of wants from God.
Prayer is powerful. Prayer is a time to connect ourselves to God, and that which is sacred, and prayer does bring us greater happiness and faith.
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
Dear Lord, thank you for your example of prayer. Move us daily to spend time talking to our Father. In Jesus’ Name, Amen