Listen: 

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

We find several instances in the scriptures where the Lord Jesus went to a mountain to pray.  Matthew 14:23tells us, “And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone.”  We read in 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.” 

Is there a significance to the Lord going into a mountain to pray?  Does the Lord hear us better from the mountain top?  To both of these questions, I would say “No”.  The Lord going into the mountain shows us the importance of finding time apart from all distractions to pray, and the importance of solitude when we are involved in earnest prayer and supplication.  We can imagine that being alone in the silence of the evening, the Lord Jesus enjoyed this time of uninterrupted communion with His Father.  In Luke 6:12, we read that the Lord “continued all night in prayer”.  From this, we see the value of private prolonged prayer when we really pour out our hearts to the Lord, allowing His Spirit to bring things to our minds to pray about.  We read in Romans 8:26, “Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.”  It may be during these times of prolonged private prayer that the Spirit works mightily in leading us in our prayers.

We also read where the Lord took some of His disciples with Him to a mountain to pray.  Luke 9:28says, “And it came to pass about an eight days after these sayings, he took Peter and John and James, and went up into a mountain to pray.”  Immediately after this, the Lord was transfigured in the presence of these three disciples as we read in Luke 9:29-36.  This gives us the thought of being in prayer before a big, important event.  How important it is to be in much prayer when we are facing tough decisions, life changing events, and opportunities to minister to others.  All these things should be prayed about in advance.  In the garden, before going to the cross to die for our sins, the Lord told His disciples in Mark 14:38, “Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation…”

Private prayer is vital to the effective Christian life.  I would dare say that if a believer grows cold and gets away from the Lord, his downward fall usually begins with the lack of earnest private prayer.  In Matthew 6:6 the Lord teaches us, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.”  It is good to come apart from all distractions to spend some alone time with the Lord in earnest prayer.  Public prayer is often part of the believer’s practice, but we should be so careful that we never neglect our times of private prayer.  We should always be ready to take all our needs and cares to the Lord.  1 Thessalonians 5:17tells us to, “Pray without ceasing.”

Do we need to find a special place to pray?  1 Timothy 2:8says, “I will therefore that men pray every where…”  Anywhere we are is a good place to pray.  May we be like King David who said in Psalms 55:17, “Evening, and morning, and at noon, will I pray, and cry aloud: and he shall hear my voice.”  (141.4)