NOTE: I am on a “retirement/anniversary” trip and will be out until late September. In the meantime, I’m sharing recycled DayBreaks for 2010. Thanks for your understanding!
From the DayBreaks archive, September 2010:
When is the last time you spend the night in prayer? Have you ever spent an entire night in prayer? In Luke chapter 6, Jesus is described as going off to a mountain where he prayed all night to the Father. One might wonder: why did Jesus pray at all? Who was He praying to? (If Jesus and the Father are One, who was there to listen?) What did Jesus say to the Father? Did He need to pray, or just want to?
I don’t know the answers to those questions. I think, however, that we can learn something from how Jesus prayed – even though the passage in Luke doesn’t record his words. It is easy to say he spent the entire night in prayer, though it takes quite a few words in English to communicate that idea. Not so in the Greek. In the Greek, only one word is required: dianuktereuo, and it is a significant word. It is a word that would be used to describe enduring at a task throughout an entire period of time. It isn’t the kind of word that would be used to say “I slept all night,” nor would you use that Greek word if you were to say it was dark “all night”. Those uses don’t require the sense of enduring. The verse (6:12) essentially says that Jesus worked hard all throughout the night in his praying. How did he work hard? It doesn’t say, but I do find it comforting that prayer could be a struggle – for it often is for me. If the Son of God toiled at prayer – either because he had so much to deal with, or because as a certifiable 100% human being, he struggled to concentrate and stay focused (just as I do) – I find it comforting, either way.
But that’s not all. There’s another insight from the Greek that we can’t see in our English translations. One English translation says He continued all night in prayer to God. The actual Greek, however, means that He spent the whole night in the prayer of God. Whenever He prayed, it was God’s prayer, the prayer of God.
If we take that last thought and we then reflect on the prayers of Jesus (especially his high priestly prayer on the night of his betrayal), it is even more significant. I’ve often reflected on Jesus praying for us. But this puts it in a slightly different light. It wasn’t “just” Jesus, but it was God praying for me and for you. I don’t know exactly what that means, but this I do know: it just doesn’t get any better than knowing that God is praying for me…and you!
PRAYER: For the deep, yet simple, mysteries of Your word and for Your prayers over and for us, we give our most heartfelt thanks! In Jesus’ name, Amen. Copyright 2020 by Galen C. Dalrymple. ><}}}”>