Five times in Matthew and Luke, Jesus’ disciples recorded He went to a solitary place to pray. He modeled taking time to be with the Father, communing with Him by speaking and listening. Often time Jesus was on the mountain or in the wilderness for 9-12 hours. These times of solitary prayer gave Him re-connection with the Father and rest for the body after a tiring bout of ministry and before the next round of ministry. Possibly Jesus slept during some of this time to allow His human body to recover and prepare. When Jesus took these times for solitary prayer, most often He went by Himself, but His disciples knew where He was and what He was doing. Two times Jesus took three disciples when He went to His lonely place. He modeled solitary prayer for them.
In Mark 6:30-32, Jesus did not just model solitary prayer, He led the disciples to do it. He told them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while.” Mark noted they were so busy they had little time to eat. When the disciples returned, they drew near to Jesus. After they communed with Him, He led them to rest. This is what “drawing near” in the Bible means – continually coming to be with God, speaking to, and receiving from Him. The secluded place of Mark 6:31 is a “lonely, desolate place.” Jesus’ times of solitary prayer were in the mountains and desert - secluded places. Jesus sent the disciples in a boat away from people – to rest. He led the disciples to solitariness so they could rest and rejuvenate.
Jesus taught about solitary prayer in Matthew 6:6. He modeled it in the Matthew 14:23 and Luke 5:16, 6:12, & 9:28. Jesus led the disciples and commanded them to get away to a lonely place in Mark 6:31. Solitary prayer is “drawing near” to God, communing with Him, and receiving rest.
Jesus was an excellent teacher. If He is our Lord, then we need to learn from Him, too. Have you taken time to get away, commune with the Father, and receive rest and rejuvenation for your body? Solitariness affects your whole being – body, mind, and spirit.
Jesus, lead us to take time each day to receive revival and rejuvenation from You, the source of our strength.