And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.
I. THE MYSTERY OF THE PRAYERS OF JESUS. If Jesus is God, how could He pray to God? How were there any needs in His nature on behalf of which He could pray? A partial answer is found in the truth that all prayers do not spring from a sense of need. The highest form of prayer is conversation with God — the familiar talk of a child with his Father. 's "Confessions" is an example of this. But the only adequate explanation is Christ's humanity; He was wholly man. Human nature in Him was a tender thing, and had to fail back on the strength of prayer.
II. HIS HABITS OF PRAYER. He went into the solitudes of nature. There is a solitude of time as well as of space. It might be an enriching discovery to find out the solitudes in our neighbourhood: silent, soothing influence of nature. Christ prayed in company as well as in secret.
III. THE OCCASIONS ON WHICH HE PRAYED.
1. He prayed before taking an important step in life, as when He chose which men to be with Him.
2. He prayed when His life was specially busy; when He could not find time to eat He found time to pray. We make that an excuse for not praying. Christ made it a reason for praying.
3. He prayed before entering temptation.
4. He died praying.
IV. THE ANSWER TO HIS PRAYERS.
1. The Transfiguration was an answer to prayer — "As He prayed," etc.
2. His baptism was an answer to prayer. Are you a man of prayer?
(J. Stalker, M. A.)
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.