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Too Busy to Pray

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Too Busy to Pray

Luke 5.12-16; 10.38-42; 1 Corinthians 7.4-5

Pastor Oesterwind


Luke 5:12–16 (NKJV) — 12 And it happened when He was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.” 13 Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying,  “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately the leprosy left him. 14 And He charged him to tell no one,  “But go and show yourself to the priest, and make an offering for your cleansing, as a testimony to them, just as Moses commanded.” 15 However, the report went around concerning Him all the more; and great multitudes came together to hear, and to be healed by Him of their infirmities. 16 So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.

·         Jesus miraculously heals a leper.  He tells the leper to say nothing to anyone about what had happen.  But it got around.  Great multitudes came together to hear Jesus and experience healing from their own infirmities.  That is, Jesus was pressed by a demanding and very rigorous schedule.  Many people had great needs.  So He Himself often withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.  He was always breaking away from the great multitudes to find time to pray.

·         When Jesus did find Himself alone in the wilderness, He prayed.  Verse 17 states that during the next day, the power of the Lord was present for Jesus to heal.

·         As busy as we are, we just cannot afford not to pray.  If we are too busy, we need only look to Jesus’ example. 

·         This is why we should have a habit of praying at the same time every day.  While I know that prayer is unceasingly keeping the line of communication open with the Father, Jesus still found special times and places to pray.

·         When dismayed and confused about when to pray and arranging our day, we ought to look to our heavenly Father for the wisdom and clarity to order our lives in a way that would enable this.  He will answer that prayer because it is definitely according to His will.

·         If you believe that you cannot find time to spend with the Lord each day, try keeping a log of what you do each day.  That can be very revealing.  We often waste vast amounts of time.

Luke 10:38–42 (NKJV) — 38 Now it happened as they went that He entered a certain village; and a certain woman named Martha welcomed Him into her house. 39 And she had a sister called Mary, who also sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word. 40 But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.” 41 And Jesus answered and said to her,  “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.”

·         Sometimes we’re just running on fumes.  The next item on the agenda for the day becomes our focus.  We look at life as a series of tasks to accomplish.  That’s how Martha was living (40a).

·         In the back of our minds, we know we ought to devote more time to pray - but we drown out that conviction with the supposed importance of what we’re doing.

·         Martha was so sure that she was doing the right thing that she became miffed with her.  She grew so frustrated that she expressed resentment toward the Lord Jesus Himself (40b). 

·         The Lord’s answer certainly confounds those who stay busy and fail to pray.  “You are worried and troubled about many things, but one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (41-42)

1 Corinthians 7:4–5 (NKJV) — 4 The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. 5 Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

·         We’re taught in v. 4 that a married couple ought to take care of one another’s physical needs.  It’s a very important concept.  You may wonder when this should be suspended??  According to Paul, only if three conditions are met (5):

o   There must be consent.

o   It must be for the purpose of fasting and prayer.

o   It must be for an established amount of time.  Otherwise, Satan will tempt you because of your lack of self-control.

·         Busy couples can do so much that they are so tired that they don’t have the time to meet one another’s physical needs.  But during Paul’s day, many believing couples were slaves.  Slaves had to do the bidding of their masters.  First to rise and last to go to sleep in the household, they had little time to pray together.  So, they sometimes would sacrifice precious together time in order to pray.

·         That places great importance on prayer.  You can be a mother of active children, an executive of a Fortune 500 company, or a pastor of a local church with great needs pressing down upon you.  If you are too busy to pray, then something needs to get trimmed from the schedule. 


Carson, D. A. (1992). A Call to Spiritual Reformation : Priorities from Paul and his Prayers. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House.

Rosscup, J. E. (2008). An Exposition on Prayer in the Bible: Igniting the Fuel to Flame Our Communication with God. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

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