Daily D – Luke 6:12
During those days he went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God. LUKE 6:12 (CSB)
I am reasonably sure to the point of certainty that Jesus prays better than I do. Feel free to congratulate me on this most obvious of insights. Since his communion with our Father in heaven is perfect and eternal, this is not a far leap. It is worth mentioning, however. It does our minds good to contemplate this fact. It also raises some questions.
* What did they prayerfully ponder about each follower in their group?
* Why did they choose these guys?
* Why was Judas allowed to remain when others were sent home?
“When daylight came, he summoned his disciples, and he chose twelve of them, whose he also named apostles: . . .”
The few all-night prayer meetings of my life felt a bit more like Psalm 42 than Luke 6. King David longed for God like a thirsty deer longs for flowing streams (verse 1). He wept in grief all night long (verse 3). He poured out his heart to God, he emptied himself of all he could possibly say about his distress. He called to memory the good old days (verse 4). Been there, done that more than once.
Jesus’ all-nighter was most likely perfectly calm, wonderfully peaceful, totally absent of worry or undue concern. Let’s go on record and state together that none of our all-night prayer meetings reached that level of perfection.
Why all night? When else could Jesus be sure he would not be interrupted with one request or need or another?
Why on the mountain? Not to be closer to God, but to be farther from interference.
Notice that when Jesus names twelve men as apostles, sent ones, he pairs them up. We see this again and again in the Gospels. Jesus does not send us out alone (See Luke 10). He even says, “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, I am there among them,” (Matthew 18:20). There is something empowering about working and praying together. It is our adversary the devil who desires to isolate us and who tempts us to do the work of two people alone.
When we get to the end of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, and the beginning of Acts (1:8), we discover commissioning statements. We are all sent. We are all, in a sense, apostles. Pause: No heresy is meant with that last sentence. To be sure, there are in the New Testament apostles of the Lord, which means these twelve. Then there are apostles of the churches, those sent as what we call missionaries.
Today there are those, as Ephesians 4:11-16 points out, who serve with apostolic gifting. They are what we often call missionaries and church starters. Each of us has been sent with the good news and good stories about Jesus. We live sent. Jesus still sends us out with partners. We are better together. As Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 begins, “Two are better than one because they have good reward for their efforts.” It goes on to note that they help each other, keep warm together, and defend themselves against hostile forces.
Questions, I’ve got questions.
* Who are you sent to?
* Who are you sent with?
* What are you sent to do?
As Jesus and our Father in heaven consider your life,
* What possibilities do they see?
* What opportunities will they entrust to you?
* How will they equip you and provide for you?
* Where will they send you?
These are good questions for a deliberate all-nighter, one free of angst and open to a plan and a path that is by definition glorious.
I will live sent.
Our Father, I will live sent. Here am I. Send me. This will be a great adventure! Amen.
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Jonah 4:2, 3 So he complained to the Lord about it: “Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen.”
Joel 2:12, 13 That is why the Lord says, “Turn to me now, while there is time. Give me your hearts. Come with fasting, weeping, and mourning. Don’t tear your clothing in your grief, but tear your hearts instead.” Return to the Lord your God, for he is merciful and compassionate, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. He is eager to relent and not punish.”
Hosea 14:8, 9 “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.” Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those with discernment listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But in those paths sinners stumble and fall.”