At Austin Ridge Bible Church, one of our six Core Values is that we are people who are prayer dependent. I find the word “dependent” to be challenging. If the value just said we are people who pray, that is something easily gaged. For instance, we could say we pray five minutes a day. But how do I determine if I am dependent on God? Dependent means I have to pray. It means I will fail without God’s guidance, power, and help. Jesus said that without him we can do nothing. Do we really believe that?
- Based on your prayer life, are you self-dependent or prayer (God) dependent?
READ THE WORD: LUKE 6:12-16 (ESV)
12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 13 And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: 14 Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15 and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- Why do you think Jesus went to a mountain to pray?
- Why was this decision so significant?
- Is there a place that you like to go to where you feel close to God?
- When you have big decisions to make, do you seek the Lord? How about little decisions?
- What is one practical change you will make to become more prayer dependent?
RESPOND TO GOD
In this passage, Jesus was gaining popularity with the crowds but the religious establishment was opposing him. It was at this point that Jesus chose to appoint 12 apostles. Jesus was putting his team together. He knew that the opposition would increase and that he needed to develop those who would carry his message to all nations after he was crucified. It was an important decision—so important that the Son of God was dependent on his Father, through prayer, to make this decision. If Jesus needed to spend the night in prayer, what does that say about our need to be prayer dependent?
- Take some time right now and pray for one decision, big or small. Seek God’s wisdom and will about it.
- Ask God to build in you a desire to pray and to seek him continually.