“Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone” (Matthew 14:22-23).

We wonder how a grand outward ministry can be sustained. The answer is simple. Every outward ministry that is massive, life-taxing in its demands, is sustained by solitary communion with God. The inward man must be renewed day by day; we must deepen the soil if we would enrich the crop. If the Master must have lonely prayer, the servant cannot dispense with secret devotion. It is not enough to pray in other’s company in the language of common prayer.

Oh, for those opening moments of the day—what conquests may than be won! When our first interview is with God, we cannot fear the face of man. Jesus Christ could not live within the boundaries that could be touched; He yearned for the infinite, and had an outlet toward the heavens.

We must have our times of withdrawal from society if we would get a strong hold of life and be master of its vexing details. Do not always be in crowded streets or tumultuous throngs. Five minutes alone everyday with God would make us more than conquerors in the day of battle. Solitude, spiritually used, disciplines the soul, fills the heart with heavenly peace, and opens the mind to the daily revelation that God makes to those who love Him. With everything else we find time for, why not have time for communing with God and reading deeply in His Word?

Adapted from In His Presence