Friday Solitude Devotions

Mark 14.32-42

32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” 33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”

35 Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”

37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”

39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.

41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”

One last moment of solitude before his trial and his crucifixion.  One last moment of solitude before returning to the Father and having time with the Father always.  Receiving strength for the times of separation, the times of ridicule, the beatings and the torturous death on the cross.  Solitude to carry him through the lowest points.

This last time of solitude, not used to get out of what is coming, even as he asks, but to be carried through the time – what you will.  This last time of solitude, looking for the disciples around him to be sustained and protected in this time.  Strengthened, and yet strengthening others with him.

The first thing for each of us in our solitude with God is that we are strengthened for whatever lies ahead for us.  We are prepared to be faithful in the highs and lows of life today.  God carries us through times that are not the trials and death Jesus faces, but they are the struggles of life that we have.  And we are strengthened for it.

But as we are changed, others also can be changed around us.  One part is changed and the rest adapts to move forward as well.  As we spend our time with God in solitude we see that the church is so much bigger than just a person, or the small group that gathers with us.  And we bring that church to God and he brings it back to us so that we are prepared to take part in it.  We are strengthened for more than just our own lives; we are strengthened for the good of the whole church.

As we spend time with God today, hear him calling us to be the church.  Being the church together.  Being the church in his world.  Called to be his people and live as his people.  Hearing him lead us as we follow him.

SongI Will Rise


I pause, Father, to commune with you.  Help me to be still and know that you are God.  Ease away any tense muscles or strained nerves or wrought-up emotions.  Let me be relaxed in body and calm in spirit so that I may be more responsive to your presence.  I pause, Father, to commune with you.  Amen