And after He had dismissed the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. —Matthew 14:23
One thing I have asked from the Lord, that I shall seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord and to pray in His temple.—Psalm 27:4
The hymn "In The Garden" was a favorite of my grandfather "Pa" and my grandmother "Nannaw" often played it beautifully on their piano. Pa was a godly man who cherished time alone with the Father, especially as he worked outside in his large garden in Lexington and later walked barefoot on the sandy beaches of Gulf Coast Florida. His love for the Lord left a timeless impression on myself and my sister.
I love this song because it so perfectly describes my heart whenever I enter into God's presence during a private time of prayer. He is always there to meet me and listen to me and love me, as only He can. As the lyrics say, "He walks with me and He talks with me and He tells me I am His own." What can be better than that? He, Almighty God, the Creator of all, calls me, a sinner saved by grace, "His own.”
The verse from Matthew teaches us that Jesus took Himself away to pray alone to His Father and we learn from other Scriptures that this was a normal pattern for Him. If Jesus, the only begotten Son of God, needed time alone with God, how much more do we need that time?
Through Jesus Christ, we have entered into a relationship with God and He invites us to come closer: to experience a deep, intimate relationship that is precious and everlasting. I hope and pray that each of us will accept His invitation and set aside time to be alone with God, our Father. He is waiting for you and for me. I promise you will be amazed in His Presence and I believe you will find yourself confessing with the Psalmist in Psalm 27 that this is the One thing you desire above all, spending time alone with the Lord.
PRAYER: Lord God, thank you for loving me so much that You have made a way, through Your Son Jesus Christ, for me to come and pray at any time. Amen.
IN THE GARDEN
I come to the garden alone,
While the dew is still on the roses;
And the voice I hear, falling on my ear,
The Son of God discloses.
And He walks with me, and He talks with me,
And He tells me I am His own,
And the joy we share as we tarry there,
None other has ever known.
He speaks, and the sound of His voice
Is so sweet the birds hush their singing;
And the melody that He gave to me
Within my heart is ringing. [Refrain]
I'd stay in the garden with Him
Tho' the night around me be falling;
But He bids me go; thro' the voice of woe,
His voice to me is calling. [Refrain]
--C. Austin Miles, 1913