Investing in Prayer
"Jesus went off to the mountain to pray, and
He spent the whole night in prayer to God."
Think about the two elements of this verse. First, Jesus went to the mountain to pray. Was he seeking solitude, some exercise, a nice view, or all of the above? Studies are revealing that people who are comfortable spending some quiet time alone are better able to make contributions to a community. Perhaps Jesus needed to be alone praying through the night to navigate the crowds that would engulf him in the morning.
Second, Jesus spent the whole night in prayer to God. Praying all night would certainly disrupt the level of comfort to which we are accustomed. I picture the disciples in the garden of Gethsemane, unable to keep watch with Jesus for even one hour at the time of his most profound need for their support. I would bet not many of us regularly invest the time and effort necessary to devote an entire night to prayer. Perhaps extreme stress, pain or grief could keep us awake all night, but how often do we choose to stay up all night praying?
Jesus prayed all night when he had tough decisions to make. This prayer vigil concluded with the selection of his twelve closest disciples. The author of the May 14 "The Word in Season" devotion asks: "What do we do when we face a difficult task or situation? Many times, we do anything but pray. Or, we pray a token prayer and ask God to bless our plans. When we fail to ask God for the correct plans, then we risk missing the Holy Spirit's blessing and power. Jesus prayed as long as it took to know God's plans."
Whether you need solitude or guidance in decision-making, know that God is always available.
The Prayer Group continues meeting through the summer on Wednesdays at around 5:15 p.m. in the sanctuary. Please consider joining us.
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