By Erendira Ramirez-Ortega, Crosswalk.com
Surrounded by the busyness of parenting, it’s no wonder to me that Jesus had to withdraw after meeting multitudes on his travels. We’ll never know exactly what it was like for Jesus, but amongst all the cooking, cleaning, planning, parenting, attending to my relationships... I can start to relate.
“But the news about Jesus spread all the more, and great crowds came to hear Him and to be healed of their sicknesses. Yet He frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray” (Luke 5:16).
Even the Savior needed quietude.
Our Savior, strong and wise, filled with love and compassion for the lost, needed to withdraw to the wilderness to pray. Jesus sought places of solitude to pray and to express His deep reliance on our Father in Heaven.
How much more do we imperfect humans need to prioritize time alone with God?
Mark 1:35 also shares this example that Jesus set: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Jesus gained much from His time alone with the Father.
When we retreat to be alone amongst our crazy lives, we too can pray to God.
Even if we don’t see a miracle happen from every single time we pray, even if we don’t see God’s answers materialize right before our very eyes, even if our circumstances don’t change one single iota after we pray, there are many other benefits that can be gained from consistent time spent in solitary prayer.
If Jesus set this example for us, he did it for a good reason. Here are 7 proven benefits of daily prayer.
1. The Benefit of Relying on God
You will see how fruitful your life will be and that of your children and husband once you get a hold of prayer and quiet time with God. Our responsibilities will not change, our situation and circumstances won’t either, but the power of God in our lives will bear fruit that will help us respond in a godly way to those areas in our life that are busy, loud, and frustrating.
We will find joy even in those things and that is what is so amazing about God. He is ever-present in our time of need and that is of great benefit. We can be glad to relinquish control to God in all things.
2. The Benefit of Training Our Mind to Shift Focus
As we get ready to retreat in prayer, we will be able to focus on Him. A place to go that gives God our full attention is necessary.
One recommendation is to get a physical Bible, not a digital one. The mobile phone is a pervasive time-suck and a favorite means of workday procrastination. A physical Bible, on the other hand, will discourage us from venturing off into rabbit trails by checking push notifications.
Let’s ward off the temptations that pull us away from our time with God by getting a physical Bible that we can write notes on and underline significant passages as we read along.
Jesus said to enter your closet and pray. We can do this effectively when we practice giving the Lord our full attention. This is beneficial because as we go about our day, we can apply giving others our full attention when they are speaking to us, asking of us, or requiring someone to listen to their needs.
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3. The Benefit of Renewing Our Mind
We will see our lives transformed by the renewing of our mind when we devote time to God in prayer.
Getting to know God is a mystery. Just as we schedule a time to meet with a friend, we should look at Jesus as a friend who we love enough to spend time with.
Once we’ve read a passage in our Bibles, we should ask ourselves a few questions about what we just read. In the passage, is there:
- a command we need to obey?
- a promise we should claim?
- a sin we need to avoid?
- a lesson we need to learn?
- a new truth we need to carry us through?
In the quiet stillness, we are apt to focus on what God says. The Bible says in Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God.” We will know God more deeply when we read His word.
Praying by asking God to search us, to try us, and to lead us in His way will help us become more aware of His presence in our lives, and his watchful eye over what we do or don’t do.
4. The Benefit of Consistency
I know God is able. He moves the hearts of man. He moves the power of the sea. He forgives and bestows grace.
I consider what He does every day of my life. As I changed my lifestyle by eliminating a host of toxic food, I’ve felt the astonishing results: better sleep, less fatigue and anxiety, more peace, less urge to control what I can’t.
The Spirit helps me with self-control. I don’t indulge in desires of the flesh that do not profit much, but rather let God direct my day. I’m ever thankful for this balance. My soul is in lockstep with God as He renews my mind daily. My faith, I’m learning, isn’t always where it should be.
When we pray, God can renew our mind—to focus on gratitude, to read the Proverbs, and to take care of priorities. We can arise motivated to read His word, to study it, journal our prayers, and apply His teaching.
It sounds like the ideal process—and it is. But the success rate only depends on my devotion and consistency.
“Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you. And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.” Jeremiah 29:12-13
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5. The Benefit of Admitting Our Faults
The pressures to fit a certain form in this culture—as a mom, a wife, a homeschool family—are severe. We’re always on display, it seems.
What I do and how I live reflects the state of my heart. When I’m in a bad state, I’m ugly. And it shows. And my words confirm it.
I know God’s word is a mirror into my deepest faults, my terrible sins. The word of God shows me my wrinkles, my dark spots, my blemishes.
God sees me as I truly am, faults and all, desperate for forgiveness and terribly afraid of disappointing Him. I don’t want to forget what I look like when I see my own reflection within the lines of scripture— those words that also tell me I am loved by the Master Who made me.
For that alone, when I consider the mirror, I can accept what I see as God’s transformative power.
“Favour is deceitful, and beauty is vain: but a woman that feareth the LORD, she shall be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
Praying for God to help us examine ourselves is beneficial to helping us become more humble about who we are in the eyes of God.
6. The Benefit of Speaking Truth Confidently
I’m not a talker. I don’t have the gift of conversation. I’m a quiet introvert with a very keen sense of my surroundings. I’m intimidated by talkers who work so hard to make me talk. I get uncomfortable around clamorous people and attention-seeking exercises that group environments thrust.
We can be willing to admit our shortcomings. We’re part of a world that requires hard and sound participation—in conversation with library children’s programs, homeschool co-ops, and church events. Not to mention writer events that are rife with networking expectations and impressive maneuvering of works in progress.
And God sees us as works in progress. We’re only complete in Him. His daily sanctification of us, the renewing of our minds, the consistent reading of His word are all essential necessities for survival in this world.
On those occasions when it’s showtime, I make every effort to choose my words wisely, to ensure they sharpen, edify, and reveal truth and minister grace unto the hearers. I rely on the Spirit to guide my conversation.
“For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.” Matthew 10:20
When we pray, we’re able to be more patient with those around us. God’s word supplies what we need to say. When we immerse ourselves enough in His word, we’re sure to experience the Spirit more deeply, and speak as He does to those who don’t know Him.
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7. The Benefit of Being Content
I seek to build up my little home as a place of joy and peace. I can’t build my house on sand and expect a firm walk with the Lord, for myself or for my family.
“And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.” Matthew 7:25
In homeschool, we wrote a family statement to declare our mission. We were intentional to build our home on God’s truth because the world is bitterly cold about the things of God. The world blasts our Lord’s name into shreds.
At least at home, I can construct a haven where I educate my children in the Lord. I can already see the hearts and minds of my children knitted in the truth and love of God. My littles sing the hymns and praises of God with great abandon. They compose their own melodies.
We may not have much like other families regarding treasures on earth, but eternally, we are trusting in God’s everlasting gifts and talents. We may not have a room dedicated exclusively to the home, or have annual upgrades in our home, but “Better is a dry morsel, and quietness there with, than a house full of sacrifices and strife” (Proverbs 17:1).
Praying for the needs of our home and family is beneficial to seeing God’s hand and mercy in our lives. We become more grateful as we set our minds on what is primordial: the salvation of our children, the love of our neighbor, the provision and work it takes to disciple our children.
We are able to see our children more clearly as God sees them: little souls in need of instruction.
When we retreat to be alone, no matter what we’re in the middle of doing, we enter a special time with the Lord. We need to slip away from the noise, the crowds, and the activities to spend time alone with our Father. The time of day for quiet time doesn’t matter as much as being intentional to devote time to God is.
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