The Priority And Power Of Prayer – Mark 1:35-45

By John Bellingham on May 31, 2015
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The Priority and Power of Prayer

Mark 1:35-45

I.  Jesus Prayer Life (vv. 35-39)

1)    Priority of Prayer

  1. Jesus was likely exhausted from the previous evening of ministry (vv. 29-32)
  2. In spite of His busy schedule, Jesus begins the new day in prayer with His Father!
  3. He understood the priority of prayer!
    1. Peter wrongly thought that ministry activity was the priority – subtle rebuke directed toward Jesus in v. 23
    2. Jesus knew the importance of speaking to God about men, before we speak to men about God
    3. Jesus’ prayer life was more than a model for us– it was essential to His ministry

2)    Place of Prayer

  1. Jesus retreated to a ‘desolate place’ away from the crowds – continuation of the wilderness theme that permeates chapter 1 of Mark
  2. Perhaps this indicates a fight with temptation – the temptation of worldly  ‘success’??
    1. Jesus’ response to Peter in v. 38 reveals His motive for ministry
    2. Jesus’ was concerned with the spread of the gospel, not with the accolades of worldly ‘success’ and popularity


Application:  “If He who was holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners, thus prayed continually, how much more ought we who are compassed with infirmity?”  – J.C. Ryle

-What does your prayer life indicate about your priorities?  Are you depending on God or on self?

II.  Jesus’ Power to Heal (vv. 40-45)

1)    The Problem

  1. Leprosy was a terrible disease which was very common during Jesus day (Luke 4:27)
  2. A stark picture of sin and its consequences in our lives
    1. Sin disfigures and defiles us
    2. Sin isolates us from God and from others
    3. Sin renders us spiritually ‘dead’ even as we continue to live

2)    The Plea

  1. This man knows he is in a helpless situation
  2. He believes that Jesus is able to heal him
  3. He isn’t sure whether Jesus is willing to help


Application:  Jesus is always willing to cleanse those who will call out to him for mercy and grace!

“Blessed indeed is he who has learned that he is a spiritual leper… To know our disease is one step toward the cure.”  – J.C. Ryle

3)    The Provision

  1. Jesus is moved with human emotion
    1. Compassion for the man Himself
    2. Anger about the effects of sin on Creation
  2. Jesus touches him
    1. A shocking violation of the ceremonial law
    2. Normally touching leads to defilement, but in this case touching leads to cleansing!

4)    The Prohibition

  1. Jesus commands the man to be silent – a recurring theme:  ‘Messianic Secret’
  2. Jesus didn’t want people following Him for the wrong reason

Application: “Jesus told the leper to be quiet and yet he told everybody.   Jesus commands us to tell everybody and we keep quiet.”  – W. Wiersbe




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