Mark 1:35, “And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed”
Do you pray? When do you go to the Father in prayer, is it when you need something, when you are out of solutions, or perhaps when you have exhausted all your other resources and options? I think we can all testify that we are guilty at some level of a lack of prayer for one reason or another. Can the man that has a busy work schedule, or a mother busy with her children, or an athlete busy with his or her schedule use the excuse that there is simply not enough time? Funny isn’t it how people can use the provisions of God, the job He provided, the talents He showered upon us, the relationships He blessed us with yet would He provide these things all at the expense of being in relationship with the very ones He calls His own children? We must pray, and I am not referencing those that claim that they pray all day long, whole driving, while at work, while walking, etc… Imagine having a relationship like that with your spouse, children, or a dear friend, how intimate is that relationship going to be if you are not actually sitting down apart from distractions together? If there was anyone that did not need to pray, but that certainly modeled prayer it was certainly our Lord Jesus. Mark records the routine prayer life of Christ in the first chapter and verse thirty-five of the book bearing his name. The ESV study Bible states, there are four verbs (rising/departed/went/prayed) [and thus might I add modeled which] emphasize Jesus’ resolve to have fellowship with his Father.
Rising-Prayer begins with desire and manifests in discipline. First, Jesus rises at a very early hour while it was still dark. He had just endured a rigorous day of ministry the previous day, but He nevertheless arises early to refresh Himself in prayer. Why? One must establish a discipline of waking up early, at a time free from distractions to enter into an atmosphere to get alone with God and get refreshed from labor whether it is ministry specific or not. Christ desired to be alone with His Father to be in intimate relationship with Him. Consider this: Christ never lost something that He needed to pray to find, He was never sick (as far as Scripture records) so He did not need to be healed from an infirmity, He didn’t seek a prestigious occupation, actually He left His carpentry shop for the road ministry. He did not own His own home that He needed to beautify. He yearned however to be in intimate fellowship with His Father, and made provision in His life to do just that. Oh that I would have that same constant desire and yearning.
Departing–Prayer begins with departing from others to enter into fellowship with the Father. Christ left His twelve disciples for a time being, the same ones that the Father gave Him (John 17) to raise up, and departed from their company so He could get alone with the Father. Perhaps if He would have stayed there He would have been distracted by the sounds of sleeping or perhaps, if I may use some preaching license here, snoring disciples. Perhaps He would have thought about the activity and even the shenanigans they displayed throughout the previous day as He looked upon them as they slept. Do you ever get distracted by attempting to pray where you are, perhaps in a room with a television, computer, or some other hobby or pastime your enjoy? Do you find yourself being drawn toward those other things rather than to the Lord? I ask these questions because I have been there. “I just wanted to check my email real quick, to the neglect then of my “knee mail”. Would I prefer hearing from another or from the Lord? When Jesus asked the twelve if they were going to leave Him and depart like the false converts of John 6:66, Peter replied, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Do you and I believe that? If we believe He has the words of eternal life then why would we not depart to be with Him to glean those Words from the Father Himself in prayer through His Word? To continue Blessing Pastor Phil
- Effective Praying, Part 1of4, Evans Olang (magnifyhisword.wordpress.com)