“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Lk 5:16 NIV

Habits are powerful things. We form our habits and then our habits form us. So this coming year decide to stop talking about it, and make it a habit to spend time with God in prayer each day. If your desire is truly to be like Jesus you must pray regularly, for He “often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Don’t let the word “lonely” intimidate you. Once you cultivate an awareness of God’s presence you’ll prefer His company to that of anybody else. And don’t let the word “withdrew” intimidate you. Just shut off your TV, your computer and your PDA and you’ll make a wonderful discovery: “In thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore” (Ps 16:11). John Wesley said, “I have so much to do that I must spend several hours in prayer before I am able to do it.” Martin Luther said, “Prayer is the most important thing in my life. If I should neglect prayer for a single day, I should lose a great deal of the fire of faith.” The hymnist wrote, “Sweet hour of prayer, sweet hour of prayer—that calls me from a world of care. And bids me at my Father’s throne, make all my wants and wishes known. In seasons of distress and grief, my soul has often found relief. And oft escaped the tempter’s snare, by thy return, sweet hour of prayer.” When the disciples asked Jesus about prayer, He began by saying, “When you pray” (See Mt 6:9-15). He assumed they’d have a regular time for prayer. Could He assume that about you?