There are at least five reasons Jesus sought to be alone with His Father during His earthly ministry of redemption. May God strengthen our commitment to be alone with Him for these very reasons.
- Alone for Fullness
“Then Jesus, being filled with the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, being tempted for forty days by the devil. And in those days He ate nothing, and afterward, when they had ended, He was hungry” (Luke 4.1-2). Jesus is physically empty and hungry during His temptation in the wilderness. Nevertheless, He is filled and led by the Holy Spirit. Whenever you sit alone with God and pray, you are seeking His kingdom and will first and foremost. You are arranging yourself under His authority and protection. Temptation is coming today. So, confess your sin. Pray for the strength you need to overcome it. Be familiar with and faithful to the Word of God. Be filled with the fulness of God the Holy Spirit.
- Alone for Usefulness
“When Jesus heard it, He departed from there by boat to a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities” (Matthew 14.13). Jesus sought to be alone in a world that wouldn’t leave Him alone. His need to be alone with His Father means He needed to be refreshed, recharged, and strengthened. If you are empty, you have nothing to give to the needy around you. Find the revitalization and revival you need in your time alone with God. What you receive from when you are alone with God is what is most useful to others in your life. Don’t fill time with the worthless; fill it with the Worthy One.
- Alone for Humility
“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, [Jesus] went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed” (Mark 1.35). It is good to remember how busy Jesus was before this early morning retreat with His Father. The day before He called Simon, Andrew, James, and John to follow Him. He taught with astonishing authority in the synagogue at Capernaum. He rebuked an unclean spirit that had possessed a man in the synagogue. Then, He commanded that he come out of the man. He healed Peter’s mother-in-law who was sick with fever. During the evening, the whole city gathered at the door where He was staying. Jesus healed many who were sick with various diseases and cast out many demons. He did this long into the evening hours. That is a brief description of Jesus’ yesterday. But still, He got up long before daylight the next morning to pray. Jesus shows us how important it is to be alone with the Father to pray for strength and direction. If you are drifting along without the discipline of prayer, you are self-sufficient, hurried, and overwhelmed. Time alone with the Father demonstrates true humility and need before Him.
- Alone for Transformation
“Now after six days Jesus took Peter, James, and John, and led them up on a high mountain apart by themselves; and He was transfigured before them” (Mark 9.2). Four men are by themselves on a high mountain. What happens to one of them will sustain the other three for years to come. The appearance of Jesus changes, but He Himself is changeless. His transfiguration is for their transformation. When we see the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ in the context of His transfiguration and subsequent resurrection, we are transformed into the same image from glory to glory. When we are apart by ourselves before Jesus at Church, we need to hear our Father say, “Look at My beloved Son and listen to Him” (Mark 9.7)! Let us change before the Changeless One together.
- Alone for Approval
“And when you pray, you shall not be like the hypocrites. For they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the corners of the streets, that they may be seen by men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matthew 6.5-6). Jesus assumes His followers will pray. He says, “When you are praying” not “If you pray”. He certainly doesn’t condemn public prayer. He is merely stating that the bulk of our praying will be done in private. Then, our Father will reward us openly. If you pray more publicly, it could be you are more interested in man’s approval rather than God’s. Live your life under the watchful eye of God at all times. Ask God to make Himself known to you and stop trying to make yourself known before others.