Intimacy with God (Mark 1:35) - Radical
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Intimacy with God (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 1:35

The beauty of this verse is really felt most when you read through Mark chapter one and you see leading up to this verse, the repetition of the word immediately.

Mark 1:35 Shows Us Jesus’ highest Priority in his Ministry

It’s like over, and over, and over again “immediately, immediately, immediately.” There’s so much action happening, and so many people that are being drawn to Jesus, and he’s being put in situations to heal people of diseases, to help people in this way or that way. All these people are thronging about him, and all these opportunities for ministry and work surrounding him. And then you get to Mark 1:35, and you read, “Rising very early in the morning while it was still dark, he departed. He went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” And there we see the secret.

What was most important to Jesus and the spring in his life from which everything flowed during his time on this earth, intimacy with the Father, Jesus praying in a desolate place in the darkness, spending time with his father, knowing this was most important in his life. And if that was so for Jesus, how much more so for you and me? We are busy people. We run from one thing to the next. We have so much on our plates, and let’s just face it, we’re not busy doing all the things Jesus was doing. We’re not healing people of diseases, and helping in all these supernatural ways. But I guess that’s kind of the point, isn’t it?

Mark 1:35 Encourages us to Prioritize Prayer

If you want to live today in a way that is good for you, and good for others in supernatural ways, that only comes from the overflow of communion with the supernatural God, your supernatural father, your heavenly Father who by the way, has invited you and me to get alone with him, to be in a desolate place. And that desolate place could even just be in a Matthew 6 kind of way. Go in your room, close the door, pray to your father who’s unseen. And your father who sees what has done in secret will reward you. Just want to remind you in a fresh way today that God has made you for communion with him, for relationship with him, for intimacy with him. And what an awesome thought. Just let that soak in.

God has made you to experience intimacy with him, closeness with him, relationship with him. Don’t be too busy for that. Don’t be too busy for that. Figure out in your schedule, whether it’s rising very early in the morning while it’s still dark, or at night, or this way, or that way in the day to be alone with God, and to pray, and enjoy, just being with him, and pouring out your heart to him, and asking him for help, knowing that you will miss the point of life if you fill your busy schedule with all kinds of running here and there, and you try to do it all apart from intimacy with God that springs from time, concentrated time alone with him.

Praying for Discipline

God, we pray for this discipline in each of our lives, and I certainly don’t presume to know everyone’s schedule who’s praying this right now, and the challenges to this, and different people’s lives. But God, we pray for each other right now. Help us to do Mark 1:35, to prioritize getting alone with you. And even as we pray that we praise you for the privilege of time alone with you, for the privilege of communion with you. God, thank you for making us for this. Thank you for inviting us into this. Jesus, thank you for making this possible for us. So help us to take full advantage to this invitation you’ve given us to get alone with you.

And we pray that that time alone with you early in the morning, late at night, here or there during the day, time alone, concentrated time with you would be the spring from which supernatural life to the full flows. God guard us from busyness and full lives that miss the point, that misses out on truly full abundant life that flows from intimacy with you. We pray this in the name of the one who showed us how to do this and makes this possible for us. In Jesus name, we pray according to Mark 1:35. Amen.

David Platt serves as a pastor in metro Washington, D.C. He is the founder of Radical.

David received his Ph.D. from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary and is the author of Don’t Hold Back, Radical, Follow MeCounter CultureSomething Needs to ChangeBefore You Vote, as well as the multiple volumes of the Christ-Centered Exposition Commentary series.

Along with his wife and children, he lives in the Washington, D.C. metro area.


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