“He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.” (Isaiah 53:11). “When He had sent the multitudes away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. Now when evening came, He was alone there.” (Matthew 14:23). Jesus often pulled apart into the mountains to pray all night. (See Luke 6:12) If I were to pray all night, I’d be exhausted. As a pastor do you think that I could book off from work the next day?
There are two types of prayer shown in the above instances. The first is calling out to God, labouring in prayer, begging and pleading for God to minister, to show up, to touch, to bring change. We see this in the life of Jesus where He is agonizing with the Father in the garden of Gethsemane, sweating drops of blood, pleading for what could be a different way.
The second could be seen where Jesus pulls aside to pray, after a full day’s work, when the pressures of ministry had been upon Him, feeling weary and exhausted from pouring out Himself to the multitudes. In this situation Jesus pulled away to be refreshed, to get a new perspective. Isaiah 40:31 says that “those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” Meeting with the Lord in this context was not a burden, it was not draining, but was rather life giving, refreshing and renewing. It is not a time of frantically calling forth, loudly praying and seeking, but a time of having our soul being refreshed by His quiet waters (Ps 23:2,3).
For you, prayer might be a lot of work. You make yourself pray because it is the right thing to do or perhaps you push yourself into prayer because of the situations around you, you need to get the help, strength or answers from God. These types of prayer are all fine and good, but there is another type of prayer and fellowship with God that is available for you. The time in prayer which refreshes, renews, invigorates and builds up your whole being. It is the prayer of resting, praising, meditating on His goodness and in which we let our Lord speak back to us, therefore bringing His words of life. This is the type of prayer that is so necessary in the draining circumstances of our lives.
Take some time to be refreshed in your times of prayer.