Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight,
He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.
– Mark 1:35
It was common knowledge among the disciples that they would find Jesus praying during the early morning hours. When they needed Him, they knew to go to the place of prayer. When Judas betrayed Jesus, he led his cohorts to Jesus’ place of prayer.
Every time the Lord Jesus faced an important decision, He prayed. When He was being tempted to do things by the world’s methods instead of the Father’s, He prayed ( Matt. 4). When it was time to choose His disciples, He prayed the entire night (Luke 6:12) If the Son of God required a night of prayer in order to determine the Father’s mind, how long might it take us in prayer to clearly determine our Father’s will?
Because Jesus was so often surrounded by crowds, He knew He must find a quiet place so He could clearly hear His Father’s voice. Jesus had many people seeking to influence the direction of His life. His disciples wanted him to go where the crowds were (Mark 1:37). The crowds wanted to crown Him king (Johyn 6:15). Satan tempted Him to make compromises in order to draw a following (Matt. 4:3, 6, 9). Jesus knew that His mission was not to attract a crowd, but to remain obedient to His Father. It was prayer that set the agenda for Jesus’ ministry (Luke 6:12). Prayer preceded the miracles (John 11:42–43); prayer brought Him encouragement at critical moments (Lauke 9:28–31); prayer enabled Him to go to the cross (Luke 22:41–42); and prayer kept Him there despite excruciating pain (Luke 23:46). Follow the Savior’s example, and let your time alone with God, in prayer, set the agenda for your life.
Excerpts republished with permission from Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. Blackaby and Richard Blackaby c. 1997 B&H Publishing Group