Minister’s Message: Making prayer the priority

Time with God is different than other time we spend.

With summer in full force here on the Kenai Peninsula we have been blessed with amazing weather and plenty of opportunities to enjoy Alaska’s engaging environment.

With all the sunshine and activities, I even heard a lifelong Alaskan lament, “When is it going to rain? I am tired from all this playing around!”

The change of seasons offers us all an opportunity to examine our priorities. For many of us the urgency and importance of our priorities influences constant decisions we make about our comfort, health, relationships, needs, job, friends, mood and life in general. Where can we go to get direction and truly find the best way to live?

When Jesus came to earth his mission was to bring humanity back into relationship with God. He spent time drawing people to God through miracles and declaring about the opportunity to be in relationship with God.

Being fully God and man, he also modeled for creation the best way to live. After a long day dedicated to this mission, Jesus had a plan to keep focused: “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” (Mark 1:35). Jesus retreated from the busyness of life, found a private place and spent time praying to his Father.

He did not just withdraw from the multitudes, but from his disciples as well. With all the distractions silenced, Jesus had a focused time of refreshment and communion with God. Jesus, being free of sin and evil, still took time to start his day by submitting to the plan of God, his heavenly Father. He also modeled for us a rhythm of health in using prayer to help us navigate through life and making following God a priority.

We make priorities about the things we care the most about. If Jesus had to find a place and time not to be distracted, how much more important it is for us to do the same before the interferences and temptations arise to drown out God’s direction for our day.

It is not that many of us do not care about prayer, it sometimes seems like it becomes an afterthought or plea for help in time of need. Jesus encourages us to make prayer, or simply talking and listening to God, a priority as a chief way of cultivating communion with God.

Early in the morning worked best for Jesus and even Jesus had to get rid of temptations to focus on prayer. Time with God is different than other time we spend. Time with God in prayer will make all your other priorities more manageable and less hectic.

Let prayer time, be your time to rest in God and renew your strength.

Has prayer been dropped as a priority in your life? Why not set some time aside today and let the orchestrator of life direct you in the best way to live?

Frank Alioto is the pastor of Roots Family Church in Soldotna (907-252-0036) and serves as a chaplain in our community.

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