“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.” -Luke 6:12
If you travel to the Sea of Galilee today, you notice that the towns where Jesus frequented are very close together. While Jesus would often welcome the crowds as he spoke, He often found himself needing some time alone. He frequently retreated to nearby desolate places, seeking out some quiet time.
In fact, there’s a cave not far from Capernaum where many think He spent a great deal of time praying. They call it the Eremos Cave. (Eremos means solitary—it’s where we get the word Hermit.)
This got me thinking…Jesus? Prayer? Wasn’t He the Son of God? Why did He need to pray?
While Jesus indeed was the Son of God, He was also a human being on Earth. The prayers that we know He spoke often reflect our own humanity:
- Fear (“Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.”)
- Desperation (“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”)
- Gratitude (“And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples.”)
Jesus faced similar challenges and emotions that each one of us faces on a daily basis. But what Jesus understood was that in order to overcome the earthly challenges and to handle the strong daily emotions, He needed his Father in his life. He connected to God through prayer.
Jesus was indeed a human, but He was also the Son of God. And He believed in the power of prayer.
Is there any doubt what I should be focusing on this Lent?
Dan Herda is an editor of theROCK for St. Dominic Catholic Parish.