Luke 6:12 NIV
Jesus prayed all night long. That is a simple statement of historical fact but it is revealing too. The. More I meditated upon that simple statement the more I recognized some insights into prayer.
1. Jesus heard and followed the voice of God in his daily assignment. Minute by minute Jesus listened to the voice of God, God revealed hidden thoughts of Pharisees hearts, the spiritual motivations of potential followers, and various other things. Yet it seems that Jesus still needed extended time in the presence of God! Why do we feel that past ministry success exempts us from extended prayer times?
2. Prayer, for Jesus, required a withdrawal from the press of life. Ministry was draining and without a retreat to the mountainside the cry of the crowds and the needs of the multitude would have pressed Jesus into service and work rather than devotion and renewal. Why do we think that these times of retreat are optional for us?
3. Big decisions call for time in the presence of God. As the Lord is picking out followers for disciples, he needs divine wisdom. It seems he must have really had to persevere to hear God on these disciples. Some decisions are so important that praying all night seems reasonable even for the Son of God. Why do we think it completely reasonable to expect eternal and deeply spiritual results from decisions that we have made with little or no prayer?
Prayer should be simple and trusting, not depending on vain repetitions, full of faith in God's answering heart, and yet there are times when the best of us must pray all night long! When was the last time you did without sleep while you pursued the presence of God?