Bob Cogan ‘80
In this Gospel, we hear that Jesus was praying alone—again. Jesus often prayed alone: we hear about him praying alone on mountaintops, in the Garden of Gethsemane, even during his 40 days in the desert. This has always struck me as a bit strange. After all, didn’t he have more important things to do while he was on earth rather than to pray alone? There was no end to the number of sick people he could heal; there were people to raise from the dead and demons to scare off. In the passage immediately preceding this one, he fed 5,000 people.
I find it very difficult to find time to pray alone. There are so many other important priorities. As a teacher, there are always more papers to grade or students to help. As a parent and husband, there are countless responsibilities—not to mention being a good friend and keeping up with the news and social media. All of these are pretty important to me.
Jesus teaches us a great lesson, however. Despite all of the important things he accomplished during his public ministry, he consistently took time to pray.
A number of years ago I made a major career change and left the business world to become a teacher. It was a very difficult decision and I had a hard time deciding what was the right career path for me. Eventually, it was being alone in prayer with God that helped me think clearly and see the path I was supposed to take.
I recently read that God should pull civilization over for speeding. We are all so busy doing many things as fast as we can. If Jesus needed time to pray, we most certainly need to pray as well to be sure we are on the right road. Going on the wrong road quickly only gets us to the wrong place faster.