ï¿¼Couldnâ€™t I just sleep in a little?
ï¿¼Nope! Letâ€™s get up and go.
“And in the morning, a great while before day, he rose and went out to a lonely place, and there he prayed.”
Jesus was hard at work. He fasted in the dessert for 40 days, underwent temptation, walked along the Sea of Galilee gathering His disciples, went to Caper’na-um where He preached and healed, went directly to Peterâ€™s home where He cured Peterâ€™s mother-in-law, took care of the crowds that came. Scripture tells us that: the whole city was gathered together about the door.
It would make sense for Jesus to want to sleep in a little, to seek some respite and refreshment.
Instead, Jesus got up before sunrise and went off to pray. This wasnâ€™t casual prayer either, â€˜Hi Father, how are You?â€™ This was intense prayer in which Jesus sought out the Fatherâ€™s will. In that time of prayer He listened for direction and engaged in an active dialog with His Father.
None of this is to say that Jesus wasnâ€™t weary. Of course He was. His humanity was screaming at Him, rest, rest, rest.
What did Jesus receive in prayer? First, He received the rest and refreshment He needed. Those who spend time in prayer find that they have more time in their day, a more rested mind and body, and have the ability to accomplish more. This isnâ€™t just getting the dishes and the common work done, but more-so getting the work of God done.
When we are resolved to pray, to rest in God, and follow His commission, we are able to change the world.
St. Paul tells us that he received a commission â€“ to preach the Gospel. Paul saw this as not just a commission, an obligation, but as a duty and a reward in and of itself. Paul chose not to take the things he was entitled to, including rest and recompense, and instead became a slave to all so that Godâ€™s work would be accomplished. Paul knew that those who accepted Godâ€™s word would be saved, and for this he set aside what he was due, even a moment to sleep in, so that he could pray and spread the Gospel of Jesus.