The Center for Renewal has been a place where pastors and other leaders have come to be renewed and refreshed by the presence of Jesus for almost forty years. I recently talked with a pastor who told me how, when his inner city ministry was just starting, he would drive out here to be quiet and sit at Jesus’ feet.
Over the years, we have encouraged pastors and other leaders to follow Jesus’ model of getting away from the ministry and spending time alone with their Heavenly Father. Every gospel gives us a glimpse of Jesus’ prayer life.
- Matthew 4 1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry.
- Matthew 14 13 Now when Jesus heard about John, He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself;
- Matthew 14 23 After He had sent the crowds away, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone.
- Mark 1 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.
- Mark 6 45Immediately Jesus made His disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side to Bethsaida, while He Himself was sending the crowd away.46After bidding them farewell, He left for the mountain to pray. 47When it was evening, the boat was in the middle of the sea, and He was alone on the land.
- Luke 5 15 But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. 16 But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.
- Luke 6 12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God.
- Luke 918And it happened that while He was praying alone,
- John 615 So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take Him by force to make Him king, withdrew again to the mountain by Himself alone.
In Luke 22:39, we even see that this pattern of getting away to pray was habitual:
39And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives;
Recently I saw something about Jesus that I had missed. Many times when Jesus went alone to pray, he took His disciples with Him.
- Matthew 17 1And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves.
- Mark 3 7Jesus withdrew to the sea with His disciples
- Luke 9 10 When the apostles returned, they gave an account to Him of all that they had done. Taking them with Him, He withdrew by Himself to a city called Bethsaida.
- Luke 9 18 And it happened that while He was praying alone, the disciples were with Him
- Luke 9 28 Some eight days after these sayings, He took along Peter and John and James, and went up on the mountain to pray.
- Luke 22 39And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him.
- John 6 3 [Escaping the crowd] Jesus went up on the mountain, and there he sat down with his disciples.
I realized that, over the years, I have made it my custom and my habit to get away to a secluded place; to be alone with Jesus; to sit at His feet; to listen. But I have not taken others with me. May the Lord grant us clarity as to whom He is calling us to mentor in this way.