Reading

But the news about him spread even more, and large crowds would come together to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet he often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.

Luke 5:15-16
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up, went out, and made his way to a deserted place; and there he was praying.

Mark 1:35
He went out and made his way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. When he reached the place, he told them, “Pray that you may not fall into temptation.” Then he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, knelt down, and began to pray, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup away from me—nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done.” 

Luke 22:39-42

Devotional

The demands on Jesus’ time were great.  Everyone wanted to see Him.  Everyone wanted to be healed by Him, and there was always more work to be done.  However, Jesus knew that doing things for God could never be replaced by actually spending time with God himself.  Jesus modeled for us the ongoing need for our hearts to connect with God away from all the demands of our daily lives.  This reminds us that we are in a living relationship with a living God that longs to be with us.  

As we enter into this Lent season, let’s follow the pattern of Christ and intentionally mark off times this week to pull away from normal rhythms and seek God in solitude.  The Bible talks about meditating on God’s Word and His laws throughout Scripture. The word “meditation” means to have thoughtful contemplation or reflection for a period of time. Psalm 1:2 says the man is blessed “whose delight is in the Lord’s instruction, and he meditates on it day and night.” Biblical meditation involves a private time of quiet, thoughtful concentration upon God’s Word and prayer.

We are seeking to shape our time of preparation for Easter morning by fasting from different components of our normal lives and asking the Spirit to empower us to feast on the food of adoration, confession, thanksgiving, supplication, and mission.  Over the next 5 weeks, this devotional guide will be focusing on one of these components of our spiritual walk, and it is our hope and prayer that this Lent season will be one that draws our hearts nearer to Christ as we respond to the reality of His life, death, and resurrection.


Discussion Questions

  • What can we learn from Jesus about “withdrawing” to pray?

  • What are some things in your life that have become idols?

  • How can you replace those idols in your life 


Prayer

Father, we pray for sweet fellowship with you this week.  We pray for your spirit to make us aware of how we might seek you in solitude as we prepare our hearts for Lent.  We are grateful that you are a God that wants to be with us and that you have made a way for us to be with you through your son Jesus Christ.  Amen.


Song

Nothing But The Blood by Keith and Kristyn Getty

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

For my pardon this I see;
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
For my cleansing this my plea;
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Nothing can for sin atone
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
Naught of good that I have done
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

This is all my hope and peace
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
This is all my righteousness
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Glory! Glory! This I sing
Nothing but the blood of Jesus
All my life my cry shall be
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Chorus:
O precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow
No other fount I know
Nothing but the blood of Jesus

Recommended Fast:
Food