What Jesus Teaches You About Prayer in Solitude

Exploring Jesus' Example of Praying

Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there prayed.  Mark 1.35

Jesus “got away” from work in order to spend time with His Father (notice both movements)…

1. He awoke in the quiet of the early morning hours (the original Greek says “in the night”). Perhaps you’ve heard of people who do night-time “vigils.” They are following Jesus’ example. Is there something special about praying in the night?

2. He got away from a place that just a few hours previous had been bustling with hundreds of people and much activity. After a demanding phase of ministry, Jesus got away.

3. He went to a place – the wilderness/desert. This is the same kind of place he lived for 40 days after his baptism – the wilderness. It doesn’t sound like a very beautiful, “refreshing” place to go.

4. He prayed. He communed with His Father and the Holy Spirit. Do you think he talked the whole time? I doubt it. What intimate fellowship he must have experienced.

The Inspiration of Jesus’ Example

This little glimpse into Jesus’ life speaks volumes. Are you convicted and inspired by Jesus’ example? As always, His life and actions cause you to take a second look at your own life and actions. Rarely do you like what you see. Yet, you can follow Jesus’ example and experience what he experienced.

Here are some challenging thoughts drawn from this episode for you to ponder and engage.

  • Sleep can be enjoyed too much. Do you love your sleep? Do you love it too much? Are you willing to interrupt your sleep in order to fellowship with God? Start with adjusting your schedule so that you can be with God in the quiet of the morning hours. Go to bed earlier. Get up earlier with an alarm. 15-20 minutes of quality time is doable.
  • The wilderness can be attractive. When you “get away” it’s usually for pleasure or entertainment. Do you ever think about going someplace outdoors to meet with God? In solitude, your heart grows quiet and you are able to focus on the goodness and beauty of God. “I’m too busy,” you say. Jesus could say the same thing. But he found a way.
  • Ministry/Work and solitude can coincide. Just before and just after Jesus was in solitude, he was involved in ministry to others. You can do ministry out of solitude and allow ministry to lead you back to solitude. It is not “either/or” but “both/and.” Are you out of balance – Ministry/work dominates; fellowship with God suffers? Even better – Can solitude be part of your work? You can take the fellowship you have with God into every area of your life.

Do you daily set aside time to meet with God in solitude? How about in the night or early morning? Do you have set times on your calendar for hours away from work to be with God in nature or retreat? Let Jesus’ example inspire you to get away and spend time with God.

Comment below how you are going to adjust your schedule so that you can meet with God. Or, share what you are doing now for times of solitude with God. 

Dr. K