Vitality of Prayers

Luke 6: 12-16
Eph 2: 19-22 / Psa 19:2-5

Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.
(Luke 6:12)

No other way could be better
If we want to know the Father’s will;
No power on earth can be greater,
Believe your prayers God will fulfill!

One of those days 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: Simon (whom He named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor. (Luke 6:12-16)

Reflection

After reading today’s brief Gospel passage, it seemed at first that there was little to reflect on. Jesus went up alone to a mountainside to pray, spent the night there, and the following day chose His twelve apostles. Two activities that at first thought hardly seemed to bear much significance, because we know Jesus always prayed, and it is common knowledge that the twelve apostles Jesus chose represented the twelve tribes of Israel. But as the old cliché goes, there is something more here than meets the eye. Jesus spent the whole night praying to God! Why did Jesus, Who is Himself God, take so much time with His Father? Perhaps because it had something to do with His choice of apostles who would build His Church on earth after He was gone, and be part of God’s divine plan of salvation. It must have been a difficult task for Jesus, knowing that He was choosing a group of mostly unlettered fishermen, and one of them He knew would betray Him. Picking Judas as one of His core group of leaders was the first step He would take on His way to Calvary. Jesus was also a man, and He needed the Father’s encouragement and discernment in choosing His leaders well.

How about us? Why do we find it so hard to spend more time in prayer, even when we are pleading for God’s help in times of troubles or difficulties? It is because the devil tries his best to distract us from this vital source of life. He knows better than we do that prayer is good for our soul. And whatever is good for our soul is hateful to him.

Some people who do not pray reason that God, being all wise, knows far better than we do the greater good, and our prayers cannot change what He has already ordained. But as our Lord Jesus Himself had shown in many biblical instances, it was by their faith that many afflicted persons were healed (Mt.8:13, 9:2, 22, 29, 15:28, Lk.5:13, 8:50, and 18:42). They all prayed to Jesus for their healing. Besides, Jesus Himself said, “Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” (Lk.11:9). Without prayer, how can we expect the grace of God to work in our lives?

Our Lord has shown us in this Gospel the value of praying hard and long. He was not in any kind of trouble or difficulty at the time. He just wanted to be sure that His choice of leaders would turn out according to the will of His Father. And for this He spent the whole night in prayer. Our Lord has taught us the value of prayer. Let us learn from His example. Let us follow His example and pray constantly, incessantly, as if everything depends on it.

Father God, our Lord Jesus taught us the value of spending more time with you in prayer. Help us to focus on You, dear God, when we pray, so that we may know Your will in our hearts. Amen.

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