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. Luke 6:12.
In Luke we read of Christ, “It came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (chap. 6:12). Men of the world often spend whole nights planning, in order to secure success; and Jesus spent many nights in prayer. He was alone with His Father, earnestly seeking the Lord with strong crying and tears. He seemed to be in an agony of distress. Why was this? He had come to His vineyard to claim His own, but He was rejected, abused. They [His enemies] were then laying plans to crucify Him. He was more and more … beset by satanic agencies. The resistance shown by the priests and rulers to His work corresponded to the convincing evidences of His divinity. They were jealous of Him because He possessed a power that drew the people to Him. His tongue was like the pen of a ready writer. He was the very treasure house of knowledge, and His parables and illustrations made the truth plain to the unlearned. Under His teaching those who could not learn the truth from books could learn it from nature.
But those who had been entrusted with the oracles of God, that they might be faithful expositors of the Scriptures, rejected and denied the Teacher sent from heaven. Christ saw that their spirit and principles were entirely contrary to the Scriptures. He saw that the Word of God was misinterpreted and misapplied. He saw how difficult it would be to instruct the people to read the Scriptures correctly, when their teachers read them in the light of their perverted judgment. What could He do to soften and subdue their hearts? This was the burden of His prayer.
The Jewish people might have repented, if they would, but they were clothed with the garments of their own self-righteousness. They claimed to be the descendants of Abraham, and looked upon every promise made to Israel as theirs. But the Israel of God are those who are converted, not those who are the lineal descendants of Abraham. “What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision? Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God” (Romans 3:1, 2). “For he is not a Jew, which is one outwardly; neither is that circumcision, which is outward in the flesh: but he is a Jew, which is one inwardly; and circumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit, and not in the letter; whose praise is not of men, but of God” (chap. 2:28, 29).—Manuscript 31a, March 7, 1898, “His Own Received Him Not.”
The Upward Look p. 80
Prayer Requests
—-Please pray for Kim and family. Her father has just been put on hospice. Rose
—-My sister has her first board exam in biomedicine this afternoon. Please pray that she will pass. Maria
—-Please pray for Al who had two small heart attacks.
Dear Friends,
When I was three or four, my mother, who didn’t understand the dangers of Halloween, decided that I was old enough to enjoy trick-or-treating. She walked to Van Avery’s Drug Store and rummaged through the masks. Then she saw it—a very unflattering caricature of an American Indian. It was made of rubber and would fit the entire head. She bought it and took it home.
Being an artist, she made me an “authentic” costume complete with beadwork, fringe, and moccasins. It truly was a work of art when she was finished. I liked the clothes, but I wasn’t too sure about that mask. I was scared when my mother showed me my reflection. Finally, she convinced me that I should leave it on. As we went trick-or-treating house to house, people would comment about that mask. Oh, how that hurt my feelings. Pulling that ugly thing up, I would exclaim, “I’ve got another face under here, see?”
How often we live behind a “mask” of our own making. How many times we present to the world a “false face” that is the opposite of that Halloween mask. We want everyone to see us as we would like to be rather than our true selves with all of our faults and failings. We are as was Sardis of whom Jesus declared, ” I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.” Rev 3:1
How often we are like the Pharisees of old, whom our Dear Saviour rebuked saying, “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess. Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” Matt 23:25-27 Paul tells us, “unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” Titus 1:15,16
How much we need our Great Redeemer’s cleansing power! How much we need that new heart that only Christ can give! He has promised, ” I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.” “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” Heb 10:16; Eze 36:26,27 Paul urges, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” 2 Tim 2:19
May we allow the Holy Spirit to keep us from sin, to cleanse us completely both inside and out. May we pray as did David, “Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy holy spirit from me. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit. Then will I teach transgressors thy ways; and sinners shall be converted unto thee.” Ps 51:10-13 May we refrain from presenting to others a false face, but, instead, be so filled with the Spirit; that it can be said of us as it was said of Daniel, “he was faithful, neither was there any error or fault found in him.” Dan 6:4

Prayer—The Secret of Power