A number of places in the Bible we see that Jesus went off to a solitary place to pray. Mark 1:35 says He did it early in the morning. His desire was to go and be alone with His Father in heaven.
I have a few solitary places I go to be alone with God in prayer. The photo above is one of the places. It is up on a Peak that overlooks our town. Depending on which way I go to get there, it can take 15 minutes or 45 minutes to walk to it. One is steep and quick and the other one is slow and winding.
Sometimes I go to this place once a week and spend some time in prayer. This is usually in the cooler months of the year. At other times it is less often, but I go up there when I need space to hear from God, especially when I need wisdom (see James 1:5).
As it is up high I can see most of my town, farming land or a forrest depending on which way I look. Not only does it get me away from work, but it slows me down. It has a way of calming me and centring my mind on God. I find it easy to hear from Him in a solitary place like this.
Every time I go up the Peak I can see why Jesus did it. It has a way of stripping the external noise away and just making it about me and God, Him and me. Sometimes I pray. Sometimes I am quiet. Sometimes I just listen for an answer.
How about you? Have you got a solitary place you go to be with God? Do you have a Peak you go to? Or another place? If not, I wonder if that will help you to draw aside like Jesus did. For me, it really calms my mind and helps me to draw near to God.
In Matthew 9 Jesus tells His disciples about the need for workers to go out in to the harvest field. It says…
Matthew 9:35-38 NLT – Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And he healed every kind of disease and illness.  When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.  He said to his disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few.  So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”
In this passage three things jump out at me as I read it.
1. Jesus modelled what His workers should do
We see that Jesus travelled around the region preaching, teaching and healing. He went to where the people were and met their needs, He even healed their diseases. This echoes Matthew 4:23-25. For me this shows me that we need to be out in our towns and regions doing the work that Jesus did. Jesus gave us a great example.
2. Jesus had compassion on the crowds
We see in the Gospels that Jesus always had compassion for the people where He saw large crowds. I verse 36 He likened them to sheep without a shepherd. We see in the Bible (see Ezekiel 34) God describes His people as sheep and that He wants to be their Shepherd. For us today we need to introduce people to our Shepherd Jesus. The one who cares for us, feeds us and binds up our wounds.
3. Jesus asks us to pray for workers
Jesus finishes the passage with a need and a request. He says the harvest of people is huge, but there are not many workers to bring it in. He then asks us to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out workers. Many times when we pray for a need we find that God softens our hearts and then calls us to help. So when you pray, be prepared that God may call you.
Reading this passage afresh today has reminded me of the great harvest of people out there who need to meet Jesus. It also reminded me of what we need to do. We need to follow Jesus’ example and be out there preaching, teaching and healing. We also have to pray for workers to bring in the harvest with the compassion of Jesus.
Ephesians 4:29 NLT – Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.
One thing that should distinguish a follower of Jesus, from someone who doesn’t follow Him, is their language. Someone who is a follower of Jesus should speak words of life, wisdom and encouragement. They should aim to build everyone up that they speak to. Jesus tells us that our words are a reflection of our hearts. So, it is important to let our words be full of Jesus and His Kingdom. Words that build up and not tear down.
Dear God, please help me with the words I speak each day. I pray they will be good and helpful. Help me not to use foul and abusive words. I pray that I will be the type of person whose words will be an encouragement to all those who hear them. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen.
Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT – “My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine.  For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.
God ways and thoughts are above our thoughts. He sees everything in relation to His plans and from an eternal perspective. This is why we need to pray and ask His will and His direction. We need to pray and seek His wisdom. The good news is that God wants us to know His will and plans. Proverbs 3:6 says, “Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
Dear God, I seek Your will for my life today. Your Word says that Your ways and thoughts are above my ways and thoughts. Today I ask for Your wisdom and guidance. Let me know what You would have me do. Show me which path to take. I ask in Jesus’ name, Amen