Luke 6:12 - 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.
I find comfort in the fact that Jesus prayed. That in conjucntion with the fact that he continually resorted to the Scripture establishes an achievable pattern for my own life: Prayer and Scripture both of which I have access to. I assume the more I pray and saturate my life with a spirit of prayer and the more I fill my mind with Scripture the more spiritual I will be, the more like him I will be. I will be like him both in cause (prayer & Scripture) and effect (surrendered to the will of the Father).
I am also a bit taken back that Jesus ever felt the need to pray all night. I don't know for sure how often he did this, I simply know he did on ocassion. If he, at times, felt the need to pray all night, do I never feel, at times, the need to pray for several hours?
I also notice this statment about Jesus' prayer life is surrounded by the realities of ministry, both the challenges and the opportunities.
In the verses just previous to Jesus praying all night he was facing a group of people who sought an accusation against him. He healed a man who had a withered hand and as a result became the object of their madness and desire to do something to him. The challenges of ministry!
In the verses following he chooses the twelve men who would constitute his church, the Apostles. Then a few verses later we are told that a great company of people out of all Judea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon had come to hear and be healed by him. Jesus healed them and taught them. The opportunities of ministry!
Ministry is like that. There are always challenges and there are always opportunities. In the midst of it all Jesus set a powerful example. He went out into a mountain to pray. And on this occasison he prayed all night to God.
In the midst of our challenges and opportunities let us not forget to find a place to pray and if necessary, surely sometimes it is, pray prolonged prayers.