The Benefits of Praying Alone to God (Praying Through the Bible #161)

TEXT: Luke 6:12-16

12 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.

13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;

14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,

15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,

16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

We are in a series of messages titled “Praying Through the Bible: A Series on Every Passage and Verse Regarding Prayer in the Bible.” The purpose of this series is to encourage and motivate you to pray to the God of the Bible. We highlighted each of these over 500 verses and passages in the Prayer Motivator Devotional Bible. So far, we have completed 160 messages in this series.

This is message #161 titled, The Benefits of Praying Alone to God

One day, a telephone repairman was working on fixing the telephone lines in a church. As he worked, he heard the pastor talking to two of the deacons about the most effective praying position. The pastor shared that he felt the key was in the hands. He always held his hands together and pointed them upward as a form of symbolic worship. The first deacon suggested that real prayer was conducted on your knees. The second deacon said that they both had it wrong — the only position worth praying in was while stretched out flat on your face. At this time, the telephone repairman couldn’t stay out of the conversation any longer. He said, “I have found that the most powerful prayer I ever prayed was while I was dangling upside down by my heels from a power pole, suspended forty feet above the ground.”

Sometimes, it takes a dramatic incident to force us to our prayer closets, or to our knees, or even on our faces in prayer to God. However, the Gospels testify to the fact that Jesus made spending time alone with God a regular part of his life. We see it again in this passage from Luke 6. In the midst of the great work he was doing, Jesus always took the time to get alone with God and spend time praying to Him. From this passage, we notice three benefits of making time to pray alone.

1. The first benefit of being alone in prayer with God is the peace that comes from knowing you have indeed been with God. This is one of those things that happens in life with people who are sincere about praying to God in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ that cannot be explained but you know it when it happens to you. In other words, you know when you have indeed been with God. There is a peace that passes all understanding that happens, there is a joy unspeakable that happens, and there is an uncanny confidence through faith in God that happens. Verse 12 states that Jesus “went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.” If Jesus needed to do this, certainly we need to do it as well. Let’s look at how Jesus did this:

First, Jesus “went”: he got away from the hustle and bustle of his ministry. The devil specializes in trying to keep us busy. We know that we ought to get alone with God. But we never make the decision to just leave it all behind in order to do so. We allow the devil to make us think that there is so much to do that we don’t have time for prayer, when in reality, the more you have to do, the more you need to pray.

Second, Jesus went to a private place. He “went out into a mountain.” The importance of having a private place to communicate with God is stressed in Scripture.

Third, Jesus remained in prayer for an extended amount of time. He stayed “all night.” Jesus interrupted his schedule, found a private location, and stayed there for a while in prayer to God.

2. We are better able to make important decisions when we make time to pray alone. Jesus’s prayer in the night time comes just before the selection of his twelve disciples. “And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles.”

Why are you able to make better decisions after spending quality time alone with God in prayer. It’s very simple. God, through the power of His Holy Spirit and through His Holy Word, will tell you exactly what to do if you would listen to His “still small voice”. He was about to choose the twelve men whom he would train to carry on his ministry after he was gone. Jesus did not proceed into this important day without spending quality time with God the night before.

How many of you have made major decisions in your life without consulting with God first, and today you are reaping the consequences of that decision? Every decision we make should be committed to prayer. But some decisions are so crucial that we should spend extra time alone in prayer to God to make sure we are hearing His voice in answer to our prayers.

The lesson for us is that we shouldn’t make an important decision without talking to God at length about it first. He knows far more about the decision we have to make than we do, and he knows the results that will come about because of that decision.

3. We are better able to choose God’s will instead of our own when we make time to pray alone. How many times you went into prayer to God alone with your mind made up about how you’re going to proceed regarding a certain issue. But after you prayed to God alone, He had changed your mind and gave you a new idea that was totally hidden to you or totally the opposite of what you had in mind before you prayed alone to God.

Take a look at the men Jesus chose to be his disciples: fishermen, tax collectors, uneducated, skeptics, and even the one who would betray him. Would you or I have chosen these men? Probably not. But Jesus chose them because they were the men God wanted him to choose.

Jesus had plenty of disciples to choose from, but through prayer, he discerned the will of God and did what God wanted him to do. Our will is tainted by our sinful nature. Our decisions will always be marred by our fleshly desires. However, if we pray first, we can find out what God wants done and do that. Someone once said, “We will not submit fully to God’s will without prayer. If you pray about a decision, you will probably make a different decision than you would have made if you did not pray.”

God may tell us to do something that does not make sense to us. But it is far better to obey God and make our decisions in accordance to his will than it is to live with the consequences of doing only what we can understand by sight. Remember the Bible tells us to “walk by faith and not by sight.”

Charles Brent said, “Prayer is not so much the means whereby God’s will is bent to man’s desires, as it is that whereby man’s will is bent to God’s desires. The real end of prayer is not so much to get this or that single desire granted, as to put human life into full and joyful conformity with the will of God.”

One way in which we can put our lives into “full and joyful conformity” with God’s will is by making time to spend alone with God in prayer. Without prayer, we will not draw closer to God. Without prayer, we will not gain God’s direction in the decisions we have to make. And without prayer, we will not align ourselves to the will of God. Spending time alone in prayer to God is essential for a life of peace, productivity and joy.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Now, if you are with us today, and you do not know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, your first prayer needs to be what we call the Sinner’s Prayer. First, please understand that you are a sinner, just as I am, and that you have broken God’s laws. The Bible says in Romans 3:23: “For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.”

Second, accept the fact that there is a penalty for sin. The Bible states in Romans 6:23: “For the wages of sin is death…”

Third, accept the fact that you are on the road to hell. Jesus Christ said in Matthew 10:28: “And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Also, the Bible states in Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.”

Now this is bad news, but here’s the good news. Jesus Christ said in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead by the power of God for you so that you can live eternally with Him. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will.

Romans 10:9 & 13 says, “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved… For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you believe that Jesus Christ died on the cross for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead, and you want to trust Him for your salvation today, please pray with me this simple prayer: Holy Father God, I realize that I am a sinner and that I have done some bad things in my life. For Jesus Christ sake, please forgive me of my sins. I now believe with all of my heart that Jesus Christ died for me, was buried, and rose again. Lord Jesus, please come into my heart and save my soul and change my life today. Amen.

If you just trusted Jesus Christ as your Saviour, and you prayed that prayer and meant it from your heart, I declare to you that based upon the Word of God, you are now saved from Hell and you are on your way to Heaven. Welcome to the family of God! Congratulations on trusting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour. You have done the most important thing in life. For more information to help you grow in your newfound faith in Christ, go to Gospel Light and read “What To Do After You Enter Through the Door”. Jesus Christ said in John 10:9, “I am the door, by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.”

God loves you. We love you. And may God bless you.

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