He prayed all night
Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray and continued all night in prayer to God. Luke 6:12
I struggle with this portion of scripture. I have questions like: Did Jesus really need to pray all night before He chose His twelve disciples? Didn’t He just know because God already knew? He was God in the flesh, couldn’t He just pick the 12 out as He was calling them to follow Him? I guess I thought that Jesus got the plan before He came to earth of what He was supposed to be doing here, not day by day.
This happened many times throughout the gospels when Jesus withdrew from the crowds to get alone with God. The passage says He prayed, but I’m sure there was some fellowshipping going on as well as praise and worship. It looks like Jesus, as a man, was required to have the same kind of relationship with God that we do as His people. He was about to make one of the most important decisions of His ministry, and it seems appropriate that He spent a significant amount of time talking it over with His Father in heaven.
Every time I read this in scripture it is a reminder that if Jesus spent this time in pray and made it a priority, how much more do you and I need a quiet time with God each day. As much as I push the importance of this time in my writings, I still find that on occasion, I start skimping on my time with God. Whether it is because I slept late or had a busy morning and day, it is easy to let that time be the place that gets cut out of the schedule. It doesn’t take long before I feel it though. I start to feel distant from my Father and then I find it harder to discern His direction in my day-to-day activity. Sometimes, I am just plain tired and think God will understand if I don’t give Him His place today. The fact is, that I am tired because I am trying to do it all in my own strength and not relying on Him to take me through the day.
For me, the solution is easy to see, but harder to accomplish. If I set an appointment with God at the beginning of the day and understand that my appointment with my Father is the most important time of my day, I can get back on track. I take time to remember the richness of those quiet times with Him and the joy and peace that fill my heart as I press into His love and goodness. I recognize the value of my relationship with Him and make it the priority of my life because He is the One holding it all together. Many times, people get the idea that the time we spend with God is something that He requires. The truth is, spending time with God is what I need to live a successful, peace filled abundant life in this world and my relationship with Him is what makes it worth living.
Today I want to encourage you to give God first place in your day to prepare you for the things to come and to strengthen you for the decisions you will need to make. Make an appointment with Him and determine that you will keep it no matter what. Recognize that this is the most important time of your day to bask and grow in the love He has for you. Remember that if Jesus needed this time when He was here, how much more do you and I need it. When we take time to get close to our Father, He takes time to pull us up closer. Start today to put your relationship with Him above all others and then you will see your life begin to fall into the place and purpose you were created for.
Today’s scripture reading: Luke 6:12-16
12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:
14 Simon, whom He also named Peter, and Andrew his brother; James and John; Philip and Bartholomew;
15 Matthew and Thomas; James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called the Zealot;
16 Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot who also became a traitor.