Morning Reading for February 19

Mark 1:35-39
(Luke 4:42-44)

Suggested further reading: 1 Timothy 2:1-8

We have here an example of our Lord Jesus Christ's habits about private prayer (v. 5). This was no isolated incident (Luke 3:21; 9:29; 6:12; Matt. 14:23; Mark 14:32). In short, our Lord always prayed and did not faint. Sinless as he was, he was an example of diligent communion with his Father. His Godhead did not render him independent of the use of means as a man. His very perfection was a perfection kept up through the exercise of prayer. His nature was kept sinless in the regular use of the means of grace, and not in the neglect of them.

There is an example here that all who desire to grow in grace and walk closely with God would do well to follow. We must make time for private meditation and for being alone with God. It must not content us to pray regularly and read the Scriptures, to hear the gospel regularly and receive the Lord's Supper. All this is well, but something more is needed. We should set apart special seasons for solitary self-examination and meditation on the things of God. The hurrying, bustling times imperil our souls. The more we have to do, the more we ought to imitate our Master in prayer and private communion with God.

What shall we say to those who never pray at all? There are many such church people who rise up in the morning without prayer and lay down at night without prayer, never speaking one word to God. Are such people Christians at all? A praying Master like Jesus can have no prayerless servants. To be prayerless is to be Christless, Godless and on the road to destruction.

What shall we say to those who pray, but give little time to their prayers? We are obliged to say that they show at present very little of the mind of Christ. Asking little, they must expect to have little. Seeking little, they cannot be surprised if they possess little. It will always be found that when prayers are few, grace, strength, peace and hope are small.
For meditation: The spiritually careless are inevitably prayerless. Spiritual stature is measured by prayerfulness before God.


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