And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
I. That the Saviour, though perfectly holy, regarded the duty of secret prayer as of great importance.
II. That He sought a solitary place for it — far away from the world, and even His disciples.
III. That it was early in the morning — the first thing after rising-always the best time, and a time when it should not be omitted.
IV. If Jesus prayed, how much more important is it for us. If He did it in the morning, how much more important is it for us, before the world gets possession of our thoughts; before Satan fills us with unholy feelings; when we rise fresh from beds of repose, and while the world around us is still! David thus prayed (Psalm 5:3). He that wishes to enjoy religion will seek a place of secret prayer in the morning. If that is omitted all will go wrong — our piety will wither, the world will fill our thoughts, temptations will be strong, and through the day we shall find it impossible to raise our feelings to a state of proper devotion. The religious enjoyment through the day will be according to the state of the heart in the morning; and can, therefore, be measured by our faithfulness in early, secret prayer. How different the conduct of the Saviour from those who spend the precious hours of the morning in sleep! He knew the value of the morning hours, etc.
(A. Barnes, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.