Jesus of Nazareth in his life on earth made it a practice to retreat to special spots, such as a wilderness, a mountain, a hillside and a garden, for much needed prayer. For example, after he had fed the 5,000 (Mt. 14:23) he went up a mountain by himself to pray. Then he calmed the waves of Lake Galilee and was proclaimed by his disciples as, “Truly you are the Son of God.”
Since I believe Jesus was fully human, as well as God in human flesh, I think he needed to pray and we modern day disciples need to see how urgently we need to as well. Jesus is mentoring us in this practice of dependence upon God through prayer. Was Jesus merely getting in touch with his spiritual side or was he expressing a radical need for prayer?
I think the answer is in how he came back consistently, to be involved in teaching and healing. The time away appeared to give him clarity of purpose, courage for his journey and a unique power for living fully. The question for us is will we follow Jesus’ lead or will we go off on our own power? Either way, in the midst of the storms of life, he comes and says, “Take heart, it is I ; do not be afraid”. Amen.