12Now during those days Jesus went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.

13And when day came, he called his disciples and chose twelve of them, whom he also named apostles:14Simon, whom he named Peter, and his brother Andrew, and James, and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, 15and Matthew, and Thomas, and James son of Alphaeus, and Simon, who was called the Zealot, 16and Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Before making a major decision Jesus “went out to the mountain to pray; and he spent the night in prayer to God.”

There is not much information about the nature of Jesus’ prayer life or the content of his prayer. Mechanics and content are not that important.

What is important is that Jesus prayed; he prayed all night likely seeking wisdom and guidance for the decision he would make when morning dawned. Who should he choose to accompany him most closely on the short journey of his earthly ministry?

If it was wisdom for choosing faithful supportive disciples Jesus sought through that long “night in prayer to God”, there must have been times in his journey with those he chose when Jesus was tempted to think he had mistaken the guidance he sought.

They were a motley band Jesus ended up selecting as his companions. They included a traitor, a denyer, revolutionaries, power mongers, and deserters – not an auspicious crew to walk with the Son of Man through his trials and challenges.

But, the fact that things do not always run smoothly is no indication that I have failed to hear the voice of truth and wisdom. The bumps in the road and the struggles along the way are only a reminder that life seldom unfolds along perfectly tidy and predictable lines; there will always be rough patches along the way.

Like Jesus’ disciples, people will let me down. Things will not turn out as I had planned. There will be pain, uncertainty, and struggle as we journey together.

When things seem to go wrong I need to ask, not what has gone wrong, but how do I respond and what can I learn from these circumstances.

God help me not to lose sight of your wisdom and truth just because the way is not always smooth and the path is not always clear.