From Mark 1:35: “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
It somehow strikes us as remarkable that Jesus would go off to a lonely place and pray. I don’t know why but it doesn’t always match up in our heads that this is something that Jesus would do. Of course, when we think of Jesus, we think of him teaching and healing, but praying, that’s simply not painted on our mental portrait of Jesus.
I wonder why and if it’s different for you, please let me know. But I think that this picture of Jesus praying: that is going off to be by himself, away from distractions, noise, cars and tablets and spending a deliberate and intentional hour or two with His Heavenly Father; is hard for us to imagine is because it’s not always a regular part of our own Christian walk.
Of course there are those times when we pray, like before we eat or before we go to sleep, or when that car cuts us off, but when is the last time we spent some deliberate and intentional time away from distractions and in our Father’s presence?
If we do this, it’s not because we are doing anything for God but because God is doing something for us. He is strengthening, encouraging, changing and lifting us up in His peace and grace. We are learning how to be become dependent upon God for all things, including time out of our oh so busy days and acknowledging our complete need for God and letting Him take care of us.
That is a picture of worship as well, being in God’s house in worship is learning how to be completely dependent upon God and letting God care for us like only He can. Like worship, prayer is God working upon on us with His grace and our response in faith to that grace.