Jesus Sets out Alone to Pray

We’re invited to sign up with Jesus in His mystery Place of Prayer

By: Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ


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And in the morning, a good while before day, the rose and went the end to a lonely place, and there the prayed. (Mark 1:35)


This verse, so early on in Jesus’ publicly ministry, gives the very first of plenty of examples of an individual private prayer in his life (the parallel version is Luke 4:42). That goes off at an early stage in the day, before anyone else is awake to notice him, to a lonely place for prayerful communion v his Father. According to early Jewish-Christian tradition, Jesus regularly prayed in ~ a small grotto ~ above the southeastern next of the mount of Beatitudes, just throughout from Tabgha, the modern-day name because that the area whereby he multiply the loaves and also fishes.

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The Gospels, and also those of St. Mark and St. Luke in particular, take note of Jesus going turn off for private prayer:

After the multiplication of loaves—Mark 6:46: and after he had actually taken leave of them, that went increase on the mountain to pray.

Immediately prior to choosing his twelve apostles—Luke 6:12: In this days he got in the hills come pray; and also all night he continued in prayer come God.

Before Peter’s profession of belief that Jesus is the Christ—Luke 9:18: now it occurred that together he was praying alone the practical worker were v him; and also he request them, “Who carry out the human being say that ns am?”

Immediately prior to the Transfiguration—Luke 9:28: Now around eight job after these sayings the took with him Peter and also John and also James, and also went increase on the mountain to pray.

Before teaching the our Father—Luke 11:1: He to be praying in a specific place, and also when he ceased, among his disciples stated to him, “Lord, teach united state to pray, as man taught his disciples.”

Before the crucifixion in the Garden that Gethsemane—Matthew 26:36-45; mark 14:32-41; Luke 22:39-46.

Coming indigenous his very own experience the private an individual prayer, Jesus teaches his practical worker to perform the same:

“And when you pray, you should not be like the hypocrites; because that they love to stand and also pray in the synagogues and also at the street corners, the they might be viewed by men. Truly, i say come you, they have actually received their reward. Yet when you pray, get in your room and also shut the door and pray to her Father that is in secret; and also your Father who sees in mystery will prize you.” (Matthew 6:5-6)

Such prayer of communion v God provides essential spiritual sustenance to living the end the Christian pilgrimage. In ~ such private prayer, one can gain a sensitivity to the activities of the holy Spirit, thereby coming to be alert come the means in i beg your pardon God is leading one to a specific vocation, apostolate, or various other task.

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Imagine that as Jesus went the end to pray by himself, the quietly invited you to join him in his mystery place. Try to snapshot Jesus in ~ prayer. Whereby would his attention be? What would certainly be the expression top top his face? What would his posture be? Quietlyremain through him.

Then, once he finishes, imagine you yourself in a conversation through Jesus about your own prayer life. Speak come him around the way in which friend presently pray. Climate ask that what he would look because that from you. What is his goal for your exclusive prayer? What much more would he desire from girlfriend in this area of her life? how do girlfriend respond to him?

Jesus taught the ours Father immediately after an occasion of private prayer (Luke 11:1-4) and after his instruction for his disciples come pray alone (Matthew 6:5-13). Break up this meditation through the our Father, praying it together with Jesus.

This post is excerpted native Praying the Gospels v Fr. Mitch Pacwa, SJ: Jesus Launches His Ministry. Easily accessible at lifwynnfoundation.org/books