He called his disciples to himself.

Jesus must have been tired that evening as he “departed to the mountain to pray” (Luke 6:12). Yet he spent the whole night in prayer! Then, instead of taking a nap the next morning, Jesus chose his twelve apostles. Finally, he went out and ministered powerfully to the crowds by teaching, healing, and delivering them (6:17-19).

Can you discern a pattern here? Something that we can imitate? Before we make important decisions or go out to serve or minister, we first need to spend time with our heavenly Father, just as Jesus did.

In a world that places so much emphasis on what we do or what we can accomplish, it can be hard to grasp the importance of spending time just being with God. It can almost feel like we are wasting time or being unproductive when we could be serving or doing something that seems more urgent.

And yet Jesus would tell us that there is nothing more important that we can do! Just imagine what that night spent before his Father did for him. In prayer, Jesus received clarity about which twelve disciples he should choose to be part of his inner circle. In prayer, he received consolation and was given the strength and courage he needed to accomplish his mission. And in prayer, Jesus simply received the assurance of his Father’s love.

God will do the same for us. We don’t always know the challenges that lie ahead, but our Father does, and as we pray, he will equip us with the grace and strength we need to meet those challenges. He will give us the wisdom to make decisions for our lives that help us to fulfill the mission he has given to us. Above all, he will reassure us of his great love for us.

We might already know the importance of spending time with the Lord, but even so, we might rush through prayer on busy days or even be tempted to skip it altogether when we feel overwhelmed. Yet this is when we need prayer the most. So the next time you are tempted to miss your prayer time, imagine Jesus on the mountain, calling you to himself. He wants to spend time with you. Make time to be with him.

“Lord, remind me of how much I need you, even on my busiest days.”

Colossians 2:6-15
Psalm 145:1-2, 8-11
Luke 6:12-19


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