35Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.”
GETTING UP EARLY
Getting up early is an important part of being intentional about seeking the Lord for the day. Prayer is important enough to put it on the schedule and to make it a priority.
AGENDAS WILL BE PLACED ON YOU IF YOU DON’T HAVE ONE
The most well meaning people, with the best hearts, will bring up urgent issues that will derail the more important goals. It’s our nature. Jesus didn’t seem to respond to the urgent need of people looking for him, he continued on to do what he came here for – to preach.
DOES PRAYER PRECEDE CONFIDENCE IN THE AGENDA?
Did the early morning time of prayer help shape his passion for the agenda for the day? It’s not easy to step away from needs that are happening around you for the sake of the overall important task at hand. It’s very difficult for ministry leaders to decline the phone call, the conversation or the impromptu meeting for the sake of getting another intangible project finished. I think these kind of decisions can only be made in confidence after time has been spent in prayer with the Father.
JESUS LEADS HIS TEAM AWAY FROM THE URGENT AND INTO THE GOAL
After Simon and the others came to Jesus exclaiming the need that people were looking for him, Jesus invites them to go with him. Let us go somewhere else – to the nearby villages – to preach (v. 38). He pulls his disciples into the rhythm of his life. The disciples weren’t out praying before the crack of dawn, but they reaped the benefit of their leader being out praying and setting the tone and agenda for their ministry that day. They all went to preach in nearby villages.
Jesus sets the tone for our priorities and agendas in this passage about his prayer life and his agenda for his team.
Church ministry leaders, you set the tone for your team and your people. I encourage you to wake up early and pray. And then confidently lead your team into the priorities and agenda for your church and ministry.