“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles” (Luke 6:12-13).
The decisions we make determine the direction of our life. Wise or foolish. Godly or ungodly. Moral or immoral. Ethical or unethical. Profitable or unprofitable. Decisions matter. In politics it is said, “Elections have consequences.” But so do most other decisions. If there were a time we need to pray, it is before make decisions. And Jesus again gives us a picture of this. This moment came on the day and night leading up to Jesus selecting the Twelve Apostles. Notice the role that prayer played in this decision.
The Time To Pray Is Before
Again we see Jesus being very intentional about His prayer life. This was no accident or coincidence. Knowing that this decision was coming, Jesus took time ahead of time to pray about the decision. He was proactive, not reactive. He stayed ahead of the curve. So when the time came, He already had been praying and seeking the Father’s will, guidance, wisdom.
As you anticipate decisions that have to be made, don’t wait until the time comes. Don’t “wing it” and hope for the best. Take time ahead of time to pray about it. Be intentional, proactive. You need to seek God’s face about it. Ask God to reveal His will in the matter. Ask Him for wisdom, discernment, faith, and courage. He will grant it.
The Greater The Decision, The More Prayer Is Needed
This decision would have long-term, historical, even eternal consequences. So Jesus didn’t just pause for a quick, silent request. He “continued all night in prayer to God.” Hours of praying, hours of not sleeping, hours of seeking God. Did Jesus do this for every decision? No. But this one was of particular importance. When daybreak came, He gathered all His followers and selected the Twelve, with new titles: “apostles” (sent ones).
You may not need to pray for hours about where to eat lunch, or what flavor of ice cream to choose (though I’m pretty indecisive). But when the decisions are truly important, we need to spend plenty of time in prayer. For some, it is a business decision. For others, it is a relationship decision, or career move. For our nation, it is a presidential election. The more important the decision is, the greater the consequences, the more time you need to spend in prayer. Don’t be hasty. Don’t jump into things. Don’t make commitments that you will regret. Pray about it! Pray a lot about it! Take all the time you need, wait on the Lord, and He will guide you.
The take-away? Decisions have consequences. Let us be sure to make prayer a part of the picture – a vital part. How have you experience this in a specific decision?