Mark 1:35

You have a daily routine; I have a daily routine; we all have a daily routine. Some routines begin with exercise, while others begin with reading the newspaper. Regardless of the activity, we all start our days in particular ways. A good start can be indicative of a good finish.

Jesus had a daily routine. Moreover, we are told he started his day in a particular way. Mark wrote: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he (i.e. Jesus) departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” (Mark 1:35 ESV). Prior to this verse, Mark described Jesus’ ministry: He was healing the sick, driving out demons and preaching in synagogues. Jesus was busy! Jesus would have been tired at the end of a long day of ministering to the crowds. Jesus was popular! Once people realized the miracles he was capable of performing and the sort of authoritative teaching he possessed, they were drawn to him.

Knowing the demands ahead of him each day, Jesus — the Son of God — began his day in prayer with the Father. He was intentional about finding a location and a time that he could be alone to commune with the Father. This spiritual discipline was woven into the fabric of his life. Prayer preceded the demands of his day. He knew strength and encouragement as he prayed to the Father.

We live in a very noisy, fast-paced society with instant information and constant communication at our fingertips. It would do our souls well to rise “very early in the morning” and find our “desolate places” of prayer. Silence and solitude are spiritual disciplines that are in desperate need of recovery. Christians must realize the importance of spending time in Bible reading, Bible meditation, and prayer. While these disciplines can be done in community with other believers, Christians should seek to do these things alone as well. Jesus prayed with his disciples, but he also spent time alone with the Father. If the Son of God prioritized prayer at the outset of his day, so should his followers.

As was Jesus, we too are busy people. We work long hours and have numerous responsibilities and commitments. We are popular in that, for many of us, multiple people demand multiple amounts of time throughout our day. Thus, we come to the end of our day, like Jesus, and are tired. So, how do you wake up and face the prospect of such a physically, emotionally and mentally taxing day? You begin your day by entrusting that day’s events into the Father’s capable hands. Yes, you have a daily routine. Every routine must have a starting point. Make your start a good one as you begin each day alone with the Father in prayer.