32 That evening, at sunset, people brought to Jesus those who were sick or demon-possessed. 33 The whole town gathered near the door. 34 He healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases, and he threw out many demons. But he didn’t let the demons speak, because they recognized him.
35 Early in the morning, well before sunrise, Jesus rose and went to a deserted place where he could be alone in prayer. 36 Simon and those with him tracked him down. 37 When they found him, they told him, “Everyone’s looking for you!”
38 He replied, “Let’s head in the other direction, to the nearby villages, so that I can preach there too. That’s why I’ve come.” 39 He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and throwing out demons.
45 Right then, Jesus made his disciples get into a boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake, toward Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 After saying good-bye to them, Jesus went up onto a mountain to pray.
Early in his public ministry, people who needed his help constantly surrounded Jesus. Like all of us, Jesus had times when he needed to step away and refocus. Mark wrote that Jesus purposely rose “very early in the morning” and sought out quiet places to be alone with God, knowing that soon “everyone” would be looking for Him. Prayer seemed to be the best kind of renewing “break” Jesus could take.
- If Jesus (God’s son) needed to be alone with God, that must be even more vital for us, with our cell phones always going off! Consider how your conversation with friends changes when you are one-on-one, rather than in a crowd. What benefits do you see in solitary time with God compared to community worship? Do you ever pray alone? If not, try it this week. If so, how do your prayers change in that setting?
- The mountain in Mark 6 likely wasn’t where Jesus usually prayed, but when his inner and outer needs called for prayer, he found a place. When can you find a solitary place? Where are you most likely to remain undisturbed? At what time of day are you most alert and focused? These factors can help make your time with God more fruitful. As you plan your alone time with God this week, reflect on what you can do to choose the most helpful setting(s).
Lord Jesus, if you needed to pray, I certainly do! Guide me, teaching me the best ways in which I can nurture a consistent prayer connection with you. Amen.
Want more reflection on today's GPS?
Donna Karlen serves in Communications at Church of the Resurrection by creating and managing social media content.