Text: Matthew 14:14-33
Jesus valued His alone time. As I think about it, when Jesus was alone He was not alone because He was in prayer to His Father.
In our text, tonight we see the same thing…
In my mind’s eye… In my imagination, I often wonder what Jesus was…
- Thanking for Father for?
- petitioning the Father for?
- Seeking of the Father?
What He was talking to the Father about?
It was during a concert that folk singer and songwriter David Wilcox responded to a question from the audience about how he come to write a song. His response was this…
There are three aspects to my process…
A quiet room
An empty page
And a question before me… “Is there something I should know?”
As I listened to the interview as I was preparing for this message it sort of struct me that this is a wonderful approach four us who are followers of Jesus as we seek the Lord’s plan for our lives each day.
It was after the feeding of the 5000 men with just 5 loaves and 2 fish that He sent His disciples away.
Jesus sent them to the other side of the sea of Galilee by boat while He sent the crowd away. It was after He sent the people away that He slipped into the hillside and began to pray. It was during that time that night fell upon Him and the Bible tells us that He stayed in prayer until the fourth watch. (Between 3 and 6 Am) Vs. 25
For some 6 to 8 hours He was alone with the Father. If Jesus saw the need to be alone with the Father then how much more do we? It may not be 6 to 8 hours but we need that daily time of solitude to pour out our heart to the Father and to simply meditate and ponder His Word. We need to take time out to seek Him and His direction for our life daily.
With that perspective as I listened to David Wilcox I realized we need 3 things…
I. A Quiet Place!
And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray… Matthew 14:23
At last, a quiet solitary place. It wasn’t easy for Jesus to get that quiet solitary place for prayer. A busy schedule? Vital time!
Jesus had expressed the need for “a quiet place” in v. 23. He was under constant pressure. In all the turmoil and excitement of ministry described in these twenty verses, just one of them gives us the key – And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray… Matthew 14:23
Constant communication with the Father was essential to his ministry.
If Jesus, the Son of God, needed regular prayer during his earthly life, why do we imagine we can get away with less?
Someone has said that, the busier we become, the more time we need to spend in prayer. But we don’t seem to work it that way!
Sadly, the busier we are, the more likely we will find less – or no – time for prayer!
Martin Luther said that he found he needed to spend at least an hour in prayer daily, and, if he didn’t spend two, the devil would get the better of him.
We need to pray because our lives depend on our heavenly Father – we need to stay “plugged in to him.
How we do that in practice may vary from person to person. For all of us there are principles that can help build “a quiet place” – in terms of both space and time – into our lives.
- Prayer should be a natural sharing of our life with God at all times and everywhere. However, we are more likely to do that if we have a specific time and place that we can reasonably set aside as “prime time” for God.
- Read and pray the Word. The Bible is full of all sorts of information. We need to read it as a message from God to inform, correct and grow our lives. Read the Word and pray it in. Using Scripture Union notes or “Every Day with Jesus” will help establish a regular pattern.
- Focus your prayer time with the ACTS pattern – Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication (for others, then for ourselves).
We need the quiet place because we need God, because we need to refocus our lives, because we need to draw on his grace and his Spirit. Value the quiet place when you can be alone with God.
Then you will know that he is with you, reaching out through you, in the hassle and turmoil of the rest of life.
II. An Empty Page!
The story is told about a martial art student and goes like this…
A martial arts student was meeting with his master and teacher at a table, having tea. The student said to his master, “I’ve learned all you have to teach me about defending myself. I want to learn one thing more now. Please teach me about the ways of God.”
The master took the teakettle and starting pouring the student’s cup full of tea. Soon the cup was full and began to spill over onto the saucer. But the master continued to pour the tea until it spilled over the saucer and then onto the floor.
The student finally said, “Stop, stop, the tea is spilling over. The cup can’t take any more.” The master then looked at the student and said, “You are so full of yourself that there is no room in your life for God. It is not possible for you to learn the ways of God until you learn to empty yourself.”
In the book of Philippians there is a prevailing thought of Jesus emptieng himself of all that He was so He could become what we were. He did that so we could experience God. Look at it with me if you will…
Philippians 2:5-8 Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus:
Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God:
But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men:
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Because you are in church tonight my guess is that you would like to know and experience God in a greater way. My question for you tonight is this… are you empty enough?
Tonight, you want to get the blessings of God empty yourself…
III. A Question: Is There Something I Need To Know!
There is always one thing we need to know…. Jesus! The problem with us is that we don’t want to know or we don’t care to know…
The problem with people is that they want to comingle Christ with the world… and that does not work and please God. It works and pleases us because it makes us feel good.
The ultimate goal for the Christian is that we KNOW! There are really only 2 ways to know… By being in the Word and through communication with the Father.
Today, you have to ask yourself… Is There Something I Need To Know!
When Jesus stood back up from that quiet hillside, He descended in a violent storm, but He knew exactly what the Father wanted Him to do.
Today, do you know what the Father wants you to do?