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Praying in a Solitary Place

Insight and tips to pray like Jesus and grow closer to God.

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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

This Scripture teaches us the absolute importance of creating personal space for prayer. From Jesus’ example we learn the necessity of good personal prayer habits, which include finding time even if it means getting up early, becoming more intentional, being more disciplined and using more determination to fit quality prayer time into our busy days.

But Jesus’ example isn’t simply about carving out time. It is also about carving out physical and mental space, which is much harder to do.

In order to bring decisions before God in prayer, we need to draw apart from everything else. Intense, uninterrupted prayer is often the only way to move on toward something new at the expense of leaving behind dearly loved parts of our lives.

Picture yourself in the place of Jesus, lying there in the house where you feel safe, comforted, loved and accepted. Imagine how much harder the decision to leave would have been if Jesus had ignored that restless “Get up and go out to pray” calling.

What if Jesus had rationalized that He could pray just as well lying there amongst His sleeping friends? The strong emotions tying Him to the comfortable, protected surroundings would have been a stumbling block to prayer.

Serious prayer for guidance always calls us out. We must intentionally set out on a mental and physical journey to an empty, neutral zone, a “lonely place” that’s not full of the precious, hard-to-ignore details of our lives. We must step out of our little worlds into a setting where we can be totally alone with God, where we can more actively pray and set our whole attention on God.

Jesus retreated to the holy detachment of a solitary place. Solitary places are not always easy to find. But once we’re there, it’s much easier to find God.

Think about some sort of change that you have been considering making in your life. Instead of praying about it in a comfortable, familiar setting, intentionally set off to find a physically and emotionally solitary place where God’s Spirit and the inner voice can more easily help you sort out the next step in your life.

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