And he healed 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. And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him, "Everyone is looking for you." And he said to them, "Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also, for that is why I came out." And he went throughout all Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and casting out demons.
Change can be so difficult to embrace when things are going well. As I read this passage I am reminded of the story of Abraham in the book of Genesis and how he was called by God to leave the comfort of his father's home. In that context I think of how faith plays a predominant role in these events and how the heart of faith is our prayerful relationship with God. Like Jesus, Abraham prayed and from that time of prayer he made a change.
It takes me back to a time of prayer back in May of 1998 when the Holy Spirit spoke to me. I was 48 years old and had received a voluntary retirement offer from my company. I was opposed to retirement until I heard this when I prayed: "Is it riskier to leave or is riskier to stay"? In just a few moments I was convinced that God was leading me to a new and unknown chapter in my life. Such is the relationship between prayer and change.
I am risk-averse Lord. Help me to not be afraid of the change that comes from faith.