One of the certainties of Christian faith is that Jesus is our example. Yes, my humanity limits the degree to which I can successfully walk where Jesus walked or follow his steps. Our trendy attempt in the 'what would Jesus do?" craze several years ago exposed how feeble we are in this regard. You know he is God and we are not. It's the wrong question anyway. It's not "what would Jesus do?", but rather, "what did Jesus do?" So, his example should always be our guide. Legalists would micro-manage this likeness and free spirits would tend to ignore it. He did say, however, "For I have given you an example that you should also do just as I have done to you" (John 13: 15, ESV).
That he often escaped to a lonely place for prayer is attested several times in Scripture. Mark 1: 35, listed above, is one such reference (see also Luke 5: 16; Matthew 26: 39; 26:42; 26:44; and other Gospel accounts of his passion). Jesus, who was also fully human, showed us the personal discipline of prayer and reflection, the human need to live above our circumstances under the sure guidance of heaven. In several examples he retreated from grueling times in the early morning, as exemplified in the Mark reference printed above. As a morning person that fits me well, personal spiritual preparation before the rigors of daily life capture my time. But, early morning doesn't work for everyone. The emphasis in his example is knowing that a time of prayer and devotional thought is a significant life element.
The statisticians at Pew Research indicate that 55% of American adults pray daily. Many of these prayers are circumstantial, a plea induced by pressing life demands. Life does toss us some curves at times and we experience tests and trails that pivot us upward in our response to them. All prayer matters. Still, the example of devotional Bible study, personal reflection, and prayer give us a more level stability in navigating these very complicated times. And, Jesus is our example.
Set aside a few minutes today to read Scripture, give thought to what was read, and offer the Heavenly Father your heart in prayerful response.