And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
What an example of swift, unselfish activity. The Saviour cannot forego prayer, it is too important and necessary; but He will not let it interfere with His activity in behalf of others. Keep this in mind when tempted to neglect prayer because time so much taken up with work.
I. ONLY BY COMBINING PRAYER AND WORK WILL WORK BE PREVENTED FROM INJURING US.
1. Even spiritual work may not always be beneficial; for it may draw us away from the cultivation of our own personal religious life; or foster within us the spirit of self-elation; or beget within us a feeling of despondency.
2. Secular work, it is easy to see, is likely to affect us injuriously. The wear and tear of the spirit, in the midst of the rush and roar of the world's business for six days in the week, will seriously unfit a man for spiritual exercises on the seventh. Transition from one order of occupation to the other will require an effort he will be too languid to put forth. No remedy but frequent intercourse with God in the midst of toil.
II. ONLY THUS WILL WORK BRING TRUE BLESSING. Prayer brings the Divine blessing down. Even Christ sought it thus. Do all work for God, and seek to have God with you in it all.
III. ONLY THUS WILL WORK BECOME A DELIGHT TO US. This is an important consideration, since with most of us life is filled with work. Would we not have it a refreshment rather than a burden? The most cheerful, patient and heroic toilers are those who are most constant in prayer. Only so can we do our work as it ought to be done, and get from it all the good it is intended to yield.
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.