Day 53 - Issue 21

June 12, 2017

 Hebrews 5:7 NLT

'While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.'

I have often heard people speak of the potency of prayer. I believed yet somehow still assumed this was a divine slot machine. I have a need, pray and ‘bingo’, get the outcome I requested. Well, that’s not how prayer works. I’ve stated before how we as Church celebrate the power of prayer, yet invest huge amounts of time, energy and resources in everything other than prayer.

In the Gospels we read of Jesus disappearing to pray, yet no one ever appears to accompany him, or if they did, they didn’t record it. Here the writer to the Hebrews presents a picture of Jesus shouting out to God as part and parcel of the ministry he pursued. It was in the depths of my own despair, a wretched sight and a man with little effective faith that I came to realise all I really had was prayer. Then I realised I only knew how to pray according to my own conscience. My monologue helped me recognise I had an impoverished friendship with God. I talked, he listened and I left, expecting God to do all the work according to my specifications.

Jesus recognised that there was no effective success without prayer. For all his signs, wonders and engaging messages, his primary task to defeat death and the powers that had reigned supreme since the Fall was in danger of getting lost if he became distracted by the miscellany of goodness that attached itself to his ministry. But how could anything but goodness spring up when Jesus’ focus was upon God and his primary mission?

Only as I discovered that my primary mission was to love God and to love others, starting with my own suffering wife, did I see that the many other tasks that I enjoyed could never realise the reality of God’s kingdom on earth.

QUESTION: Is your prayer life more a shopping list or a love affair?

PRAYER: Lord, once again, teach me to pray as you prayed to your Father.

 

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