How long is a long prayer? Do you get tired (or bored!) after just a few minutes? Do you start to nod off to sleep if the prayer goes longer than expected? Does your mind wander? Are you too busy to pray more than just bullet-point prayers?
Jesus was about to make a huge decision. Of all of the people who called themselves His disciples (there were a lot of them), Jesus was going to choose twelve to be His apostles (Luke 6:13, 17). These were the men who would spend the most time with Jesus; the ones who would hear His most explicit instructions; the ones who would be called upon to take the gospel to the four points of the globe after Christ’s ascension into Heaven.
How did Jesus choose The Twelve from the huge multitude?
“He spent the night praying to God” (Luke 6:12).
This Greek word for spent the night is unique in all of Scripture. Only Luke uses it here to describe how Jesus prayed. Doctor Luke—who would know better than most how the body craves sleep—uses this unique word. In essence Jesus was going to cease from all activity AND avoid any inactivity (like sleep) to pray about this important decision.
Principle: The bigger the issue = the longer the prayer.
- How many times do I pray just one-and-done prayers?
- How many times am I too distracted/tired/busy to pray more than a few minutes?
- What wisdom am I robbing myself of by my short prayers?
Don’t get me wrong, God does answer the one word prayers (like HELP!). But there is something powerful about praying long.