12-16 At about that same time he climbed a mountain to pray. He was there all night in prayer before God. The next day he summoned his disciples; from them he selected twelve he designated as apostles...Luke 6
After calling the twelve apostles, Jesus then delivers his core message in the Sermon on the Plain--Sermon on the Mount in Matthew's gospel. Living Space, the Irish Jesuit prayer web site, raises the question, "Why did Jesus prayer?" Clearly it was not to pray "for something" as we typically do. Equally clearly, Jesus didn't spend the entire night "saying" a set of formal prayers. Moreover, Jesus, especially in Luke's gospel, spends time in prayer at critical junctures in his ministry.
His prayer must have been what we would now call meditation or contemplation. It must have been a time of entering into the reality of the divine in Jesus just as prayer can be for us. We have at the core of our being a spark of the divine. Prayer is entering into that reality and "spending time" with the divine within us. As a fully human person, Jesus sought out that presence throughout his life in order to deepen the union with the divine. He calls us to that same reality.
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