“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Luke 5:16
Practicing Jews pray three times a day and Muslims five. Not so with Christianity. Rather than simply adhering to a list of rules, requirements or pillars, Christianity’s primary focus is on a relationship with God. And just like any relationship, this requires time. Jesus modeled spending time with God by regularly setting aside time to pray.
Now, Jesus is God, so why would God (Jesus) pray to God (the Father)? I can’t fully explain the mystery of the three in one relationship between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit – but I can tell you that Jesus’ ultimate goal throughout His ministry on earth was walking 100% in His Father’s will. This meant staying close to His Father and prioritizing His time with God (the Father) over everything else. Before work, ministry, friends and even family – His Father always came first.
The same holds true for followers of Jesus. If Jesus prioritized time with His Father, then so should we. Our ultimate desire in life should be staying close to our Heavenly Father through prayer and reading His Word in order to fulfill His will. It’s about saying, “No matter what my schedule looks like or what pressures I’m facing, my number one purpose in life is my relationship with God. Everything else comes second.”
When we choose to put God first, we want to spend time with Him. We won’t worry about checking off a list of rules, but rather experiencing a relationship with the One True God by spending time alone with Him like Jesus did. That’s a relationship worth pursuing!