It was in the hours alone with the Father that Christ heard His voice speak. Indeed, Jesus received every encouraging word, every prophetic warning, while in prayer. He petitioned the Father, worshiped Him, and submitted to His will. And after every miracle, every teaching, every face-off with a Pharisee, Jesus hurried back to fellowship with His Father.

We see this kind of devotion in Matthew 14. Jesus had just received news of the death of John the Baptist. "When Jesus heard of it, he departed thence by ship into a desert place apart" (Matthew 14:13). (I wonder if he went to the same desert where John had spent years in meditation and preparation for ministry.)

Jesus was there alone, praying and grieving deeply over John's death. John had been a beloved friend, as well as a respected prophet of God. Now, in fellowship with the Father, Jesus asked for and received grace. And there in the desert, Jesus received direction for the very next day.

Immediately after leaving that place, Christ began to perform miracles: "Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14). That same day, Jesus fed a crowd of five thousand from five loaves and two fishes. Try to imagine what a busy, full, heavy day it was for Him. Later that day, He sent the crowds away.

So, what did Jesus do at that point? You would think He might seek rest or a quiet meal. Perhaps He would gather a few of His close disciples and recount the events of the day. Or, maybe He desired to go to Bethany, to be rejuvenated by the hospitality of the family of Mary and Martha.

Jesus did none of these things, however. Scripture says, "He went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone" (Mattthew14:23). Once again, Jesus rushed back to the Father. He knew the only place to recuperate was in His Father's presence.