Mark 1:35-37 (ESV)
35 And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. 36 And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, 37 and they found him and said to him, “Everyone is looking for you.”
Where do you pray? Is where you pray really that important? Evidentially it is; Jesus specifically mentioned where we should and shouldn’t pray.
Where not to pray: in a location chosen so others can see you (Matthew 6:5).
Where to pray: in private in your room (Matthew 6:6).
While Jesus was in Capernaum, Mark indicated that Simon and his companions went to look for Jesus. When they found Him, they exclaimed, “Everyone is searching for You” (Mark 1:37, MEV). Jesus often went away in seclusion to pray, and everyone was trying to find Him. Obviously He didn’t stay close, and He wasn’t easy to find.
We see this pattern of the Lord’s early-morning prayer beginning at the start of His ministry. He repeatedly departed to a solitary place, either in the hills, out of town, or in a remote garden. Here He showed us the power of prayer in a secret place.
Here’s the deal. If you don’t have a familiar place, a quiet place away from others, you probably don’t have a habit of praying often. It is the great secret to prayer—you must pray in secret.
We live in turbulent and violent times. Uncertainty seems to loom around every corner. Raising children, working, challenges in relationships, and our quest for unity in our Christian fellowship are all under assault from the world. Yet the Lord has made provision for us in this tempest. God’s Word provides a way for us. He entreats us to enter the refuge where His watchfulness leads us to a place of safety.
The marvelous truth about the secret place is that it is not so secret. And we all are eligible for entrance. It requires but two things from us to enter: time and a love for Jesus. Put these two together, and we are given an opportunity to gain understanding into the nature of God.
Dear Lord, help us to find a secret place to pray. Help us to make it a priority to come to You in prayer. In the Name of Jesus, Amen.