Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles (Luke 6:12-13, NIV).
Think of a time in which you desperately needed discernment and direction for a pending, important deadline. What did you do: fret, search the Scriptures, phone a friend, procrastinate, claim God’s promises, toss a coin, acquiesce to someone else’s opinion, follow your intuition, or several of the above? These obviously represent a continuum of wise through foolhardy responses, but if we are honest, many of us could say that at one time or another we have resorted to several of the above. Although we may utilize the above repertoire, Christ’s main impetus for both decision-making and effectual service was prayer.
After several Sabbaths of Pharisee-provoking obedience to the Father during his time of active ministry, Christ needed to choose twelve apostles from his disciples. Luke 6:12 indicates that Christ prayed all night at the mountain before choosing the twelve and subsequently healing both those with diseases and those experiencing demonic attack. Notice that it does not mention that He slept the night before all this effective decision-making and ministering, but that He prayed all night long! His efforts were clearly efficacious as verse 19 states that the whole multitude sought to touch him, for power went out from Him and healed them all.
If God’s sinless, submitted, begotten Son needed a nightlong prayer session for discernment, direction, rejuvenation, and empowerment, where does that leave us? I am not offering formulaic assertions here, but one can hardly miss the takeaway regarding the needfulness of consistent, deep, private prayer in addition to moment-by-moment communion with the Father. I have learned this increasingly in my thirty-five year walk with the Lord and especially with regard to supplication and intercession.
What about you? What do you need discernment or empowerment for? What are you facing currently? Whom is the Father calling you into private intercession for? How is your communion with this perfect, loving Dad who longs to fellowship with you, communicate to you, and hear from you? Is it something you hurriedly check off of your mental “To-Do list” each day or is it a perpetual lifeline akin to your need for oxygen and water to survive? When it feels as if maybe no one else has time for you or cares about what concerns you at any given moment, know that your compassionate Papa yearns to be the one to listen to you, to meet your need, and to lift your head (Psalm 3:3) like only He can!
Melissa Smith is the Women’s Enrich Counselor at America’s Keswick. She has the privilege and honor of ministering to the colony men’s wives and girlfriends, the Barbara’s Place women, and some women from the community who God brings to America’s Keswick for help or care. She and Bill, her husband of 18 years, have four adopted children ages 17 to 24. Her fervent desire is to point women to Christ and His sufficiency, provision, and promises.