Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.
Mark 1:35 ESV
The Gospel of Mark is action packed. Jesus is:
- casting out demons,
- rebuking Pharisees,
- calling people to follow him,
- taking authority over nature,
- going to the cross,
- and so many more incredible things.
Even though we only find him praying a few times in this Gospel—in today’s verse, in Gethsemane, and on the cross—we see his constant pattern of prayer throughout the four Gospels.
In today’s text, a key word is “solitude.”
Jesus left the bustle and noise of the crowd to be alone with God—and this shaped everything he did. In fact, Jesus said in John 12:49 that he never did or said anything outside of the Father’s will.
Where did he learn what the Father’s will was?
In solitary prayer.Our world today is exponentially noisier than the first century. If Jesus withdrew then, how much more important that we withdraw today? Click To Tweet
One of our great distractions is undoubtedly media delivered via the internet, the television, or even the radio.
So, perhaps the best place for us to practice prayer-filled solitude with the Father is by cutting ourselves off from the noisy world.
Research shows the mere presence of our smartphones in the same room decreases our ability to focus.
When you go to study your Bible and pray, turn off your phones, computers, tablets, and TVs.Practice digital solitude. Click To Tweet
This will help you focus on God’s presence, his voice, and his purpose for your life. It is a practical way for us to follow Jesus’s pattern of intentional withdrawal from everything but communion with God.
Do you practice digital solitude? If not, should you start?