When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. (Luke 4:42 NASB)
The crowds. It seems like crowds would be a blessing for a traveling evangelist, but these crowds were anything but a blessing. Jesus had gone to a quiet place for time with His Father. Although it was a secluded spot, the crowds searched and found Him. They were trying to keep Him from moving on to the next town. They wanted this miracle-worker all to themselves.
We know from Scripture (Matthew 10:14, 11:23) that Jesus lived in Capernaum but that there was not tremendous faith there. The crowds wanted what Jesus could do FOR them, not what He could do IN them. That's a word for us today, isn't it? Do we come to Jesus with a shopping list of miracles we want Him to do, or come to Jesus desiring to be more like Him? There are many Scriptures dealing with prayer in general and answered prayer specifically. He delights in answering our prayers, but our Heavenly Father sent His Son to redeem us. Part of that redemption was the sinless life He lived and which He desires us to emulate.
In a way, praying for others begins by praying for ourselves. We need to pray for greater transformation, that we could be more like Christ and that we would know Him in a more personal, intimate way. If we were more like Jesus, many of the things on our "prayer shopping list" would take care of themselves. Today, begin to pray for our loved ones by seeking greater transformation and intimacy with Christ for yourselves, then pray the same for those we love.