Mark 1:29-39 (NRSV)
Verse 29As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Verse 30Now Simon's mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. Verse 31He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
Verse 32That evening, at sundown, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. Verse 33And the whole city was gathered around the door. Verse 34And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him. Verse 35In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. Verse 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. Verse 37When they found him, they said to him, "Everyone is searching for you." Verse 38He answered, "Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do." Verse 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Two things strike me in this gospel reading. First, we see Jesus as a model in his taking time to be alone with God in prayer when things seem difficult. In prayer Jesus’ vision for what he is to do is clarified, so that he turns his direction to go into the rest of Galilee to spread the gospel message. Second, it seems clear that the demons know who Jesus is. This is God’s son, and we can trust that in him God is going to bring about great changes in people’s lives.
So then, what does this mean for us? What it comes down to is this: that as Christians we trust that we are following one who has power to transform our lives, and that like Jesus, through our times of prayer, God can help us to make the seemingly insignificant but difficult decisions that fill our lives.
Great God, as your disciples in this day, help us to follow you, and to have our lives transformed by your presence. Through our times of prayer and devotion, help us to draw closer to you and to discern better what we are to do. We pray this in your most holy name. Amen.