While it was still night, way before dawn, he got up and went out to a secluded spot and prayed.
Mark 1:35 MSG
I do not know about you but I am not an early morning kind of person. If I am to wake up before dawn must probably it will take me between 45min to really be awake (that and at least two cups of coffee). Jesus was intentional on spending quality time with God. Lets be honest. We all struggle to find a place in which we may be alone with God. I’ve said that before. I was afraid of what the Holy Spirit would reveal about my life as I read my Bible. There’ve been other times in ministry when I was afraid of being told by the Spirit that what I was doing simply was feeding my ego instead of following his instruction. Jesus prayed because He knew how important it is to be in tune with the heavenly commands. He knew how important it is to have communion, to be dependent on God’s instruction, how important it is to simply be still and rest in his presence for further instruction. Spending time alone with God is more than meeting religious expectations. It is having fellowship with God and learning to identify his voice in order to appropriately follow his commands.
Jesus had it clear that he needed to spend some time alone with God. He was intentional in doing just that. Throughout the gospels we are able to see Jesus praying prior to huge and decisive moments both in his life and ministry. Prayer was important for the Master. There are two aspects in Jesus’ prayer life that caught my attention. The first is that he would go to a private place. The NIV tells us that He went off to a solitary place where he prayed. I think it is important for us to find solitary places where we might be free to pray. By solitary places I mean spots where we won’t get distracted nor interrupted. Prayer is special. We are to regard our prayer time a something special, we are to value and treasure our prayer time, therefore having a solitary place where we won’t be distracted is important. The second aspect that caught my attention is the fact of quietness. The NET Bible tells us that Jesus went out to a deserted place. Quietness is something you can expect of deserted places. Prayer is not always about us screaming out to God but it also involves moments of stillness, moments of quietness, moments where we would simply be still and wait in the Lord. He reward those quiet moments by gently whispering into our hearts and soul words of life, words of hope, words of tranquility. The gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus went out to a deserted place, and there he spent time in prayer.
We all struggle in spending time with God. But let me tell you something. Once you force yourself to be alone with the Father, gradually it’ll become something natural, and once it is natural it will evolve into a necessity. I am still on the journey of making it a necessity for my life, but in the process God rewards me by speaking directly into my heart.