And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.Matthew 14:22-23
And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the landMark 6:45-47
Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world. When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.John 6:14-15
Man is made in the image of the Triune God. Therefore we are designed for fellowship. Being with other people, especially fellow Christians, is vital to our spiritual health and growth, but purposeful alone time is important as well.
I cannot emphasize enough that this alone time is purposeful. It should not be a time where sinful influences can easily tempt us. In fact, most of the times we find Jesus alone in scripture He is doing the same thing – praying.
We should take time to be alone to talk with our Heavenly Father. This is the time that we can pour our hearts to God like David did in many of the Psalms. This is a much better practice than “venting” our problems to friends or on social media. In fact, venting is probably quite sinful because it seeks no true resolution. It just tends to get people to focus on the complainer. Prayer is a much better outlet for pain, suffering, confusion, and despair because we are crying out to the One Who actually can help!
In prayer, we can also ask God for the help we need to escape temptation. We can ask God to help others with their needs. The possibilities are endless as long as we are praying according to the will of God.
We do not know the details of the prayers that Jesus made on this occasion. However, we do know that He always prayed for His Father’s will to be done. We do know that He prayed for the faith of His disciples to not fail. We do know that He actually prayed for all the elect family of God. From these few examples, we can see that the prayers of Jesus in these alone times were not for selfish reasons. They were designed and purposefully executed by our Savior to promote the will of God and be of benefit to others.
There are those that say there is “power in prayer,” and that may very well be. But I think it is better to think of it this way. Prayer gives us access to the King of kings and Lord of lords Who is all-powerful. He can and DOES help those who call upon Him in their time of need.
Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.Hebrews 4:16