“In my journaling of prayers and devotions this morning,” Stan began, “I was in Matthew’s gospel where Jesus was in the Garden of Gethsemane.”
“That was an amazing time of preparation for Jesus,” I replied.
“Absolutely,” Stan said, “and I saw something in Matthew’s account I had not seen before, something that is important for my prayer life.”
“What’s that?” I asked.
“When Jesus first entered the garden with His disciples,” Stan replied, “Jesus told the disciples to sit while He went elsewhere to pray.”
“So?” I responded.
“It seems to me,” Stan responded, “that as Jesus was facing what He was facing, He might have wanted to have group prayer with the disciples, all joining together to pray for wisdom, guidance, strength, encouragement, and the like.”
“But that is not what was going on,” Stan continued. “And this is the lesson for me. Jesus knew that He needed time to be alone with His Father, just the two of them, so Jesus could pour out His heart and be prepared to listen to what was on His Father’s heart.”
“It wasn’t a time for group prayer. It was a time for one-on-one. And, for me,” Stan added, “it is essential for me to know when I need to spend time alone with my Heavenly Father. There’s time for group prayer, and there’s time for personal, one-on-one prayer. I need to know the difference.”
“It is when I am alone with God that there is a much greater likelihood that I will be able to listen to what He has to say in response to my prayers. It is then when I can pour out my prayers and be filled with His answers.”
Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to His disciples, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” Matthew 26:36.
Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that you allow me to come before you in prayer. And thank you for showing me when it is time for us to be alone together so I can be with you one-on-one. Please lead me to those times where I can empty myself of all that is on my heart and be prepared to listen, truly listen, to what is on your heart. In turn, fill me with all you have for me to hear, know, understand, receive, embrace, and obey. Please help me to follow your lead. Thank you I can and do bring these prayers before you in the name of Jesus. Amen.