06.03.06 Mk. 1:35-38 (See also Lk. 4:42-43)
JESUS GOES OUT TO PRAY
35 Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there. 36 Simon and his companions went searching for Him. 37 They found Him and said, “Everyone’s looking for You!”
38 And He said to them, “Let’s go on to the neighboring villages so that I may preach there too. This is why I have come.”
“To a deserted place.” Some translations use the word “desert,” rather than a solitary and quiet or deserted area. However, there was no desert near the Sea of Galilee (cf. Mk. 1:35; Lk. 4:42), but rather, it is a lush, green, productive farmland with quite peaceful areas on the hill and mountain tops where few, if anyone, lived – deserted places. The gospel writer is saying that Jesus had to retreat to a quiet area and spend hours in prayer. His humanity is revealed in that ministry exhausted Him physically and emotionally.
“He was praying there.” Jesus was often in prayer. It was His source of strength, especially when He knew difficulties lay immediately ahead. In his busiest period, when He was so often exhausted from the labors of the day, He retreated to a secluded place away from the crowds and disciples to pray with His Father. He never took any important step without such a night. It is amazing that Jesus spent many long hours in prayer, yet only His short prayers have been recorded.
. For example, the King James Version.