In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Jesus prayed. He spent time in prayer. In this passage it says all night. Then he did the calling of the twelve to be apostles. He set a pattern, a model for us. Before making or carrying out a plan, spend time in prayer. Specifically praying to God.
…he continued in prayer to God… Not a short, “Hi, how are you, will you…. Thank you, good- bye.” Continued in prayer indicates spending time there. How much time do we give to God? How much time do we want Him to give to us? Now, how much time will you spend in prayer? We want Him more than a howdy do. Humility recognizes who He is in relation to who we are. If we go before an official, we can expect to spend time pleading our case, explaining our position, defining our proposal… Hmmm, are we not going before a much greater power? How much time do we give Him?
Then carry out the details of the task. When praying, where is your focus? If we want God involved in our affairs we will involve ourselves in Him. We were created to commune with Him. We want His touch, His blessings on what we attempt. We gain that when we look to Him, not ourselves, when we spend time with Him, when our focus is directed to Him. How do we get to know someone? We spend time with them.
When we pray, do we ask for His direction? Do we ask for His blessings upon what we do? Is this selfish? Whose work do we do? His. Who gets the glory? He does. Who is obedient? We are. We stand in need of His blessings because we do not do our work, but His. We are the obedient disciples. We do His bidding, get our strength from Him. Pray therefore, pray much, pray for Him to guide us. We are told specifically to pray and when we do, we are told what He will do. If we pray, He will hear. If we turn from our ways, which are evil, He will heal. 2 Chronicles 7:14 – if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.
We humble ourselves recognizing who gives direction and who gives strength. We pray to bring about right focus. We receive and then turn from our ways which are evil, to His ways which are good. Now He is involved; He says He will hear us, will forgive us, will heal our land. Now it is His work, we are His laborers. We are obedient…