Friday, February 3, 2012

10 Things about the Prayer Life of Christ (Part 2)

4. Jesus always found time to pray. He was certainly busier than any of us could be, when you think about His to-do list being the whole plan of redemption that He had to accomplish in three years. But He never got so busy that He didn’t have time to pray. It was always a priority with Him.

The Lord Jesus really viewed prayer as His most important work. He would put down all His other demands to do that. Jesus always found time to pray. Who of us can compare our workload with His? Who among us deals with more distractions and interruptions than what He faced each day? His were life and death situations. Things like, "Come now! My daughter is dying." "It's too late; she died." It's really things pressing in on Him. Emergencies everywhere. But He found time to pray. If anyone could justify skipping or rushing through times of prayer, it would seem Jesus could have. But in the busiest, most pressured seasons of His life, He prayed more, not less.

We make busy schedules and pressing demands a reason for not praying; Jesus made it a reason for praying. Jesus always found time for prayer.

5. Jesus prayed for the things that He knew would please and honor His Father and advance God's Kingdom. He cared about that more than He cared about His own well-being. He was always submitting His will to the will of His Father. I love that passage in John 12:27 where Jesus says,

Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? "Father, save me from this hour"? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. [I came to die, that is why He sent me here. So what does He pray? Not Father save me from this hour. But instead He prays] Father, glorify your name." Then a voice came from heaven: "I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again” (vv. 27-28).

In His case, glorifying the name of God meant enduring the cross. His own desires were always subjected and submitted to the things that would please and honor His Father.“Jesus lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, 'Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you'” (John 17:1). That was always the goal. Do whatever it takes to for You to be glorified.

6. Jesus believed God heard Him when He prayed. He prayed in confidence and faith that God would hear and would answer His prayers. At the tomb of Lazarus in John 11 it says, “Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I know that you have heard me’” (vv. 41-42). Did you know that you can have that same confidence when you pray? You say, “I’m not Jesus!” Well, listen to this verse.

And this is the confidence that we have toward him, that if we ask anything according to his will he hears us. And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests that we have asked of him (1 John 5:14-15).

He believed that God heard Him when He prayed and that God would answer.

Do you believe that when you pray? I confess that sometimes when I pray, at a feeling level, I feel like nobody is listening. I can't see God. I can't sense Him at times. My prayer life is not one of these—when I read about some people that just felt the presence of God—that's not often true with me. When I pray, I need faith that what I cannot see and what I cannot sense is nonetheless true, and that God is there and that He is hearing, He is listening, and that He will answer.

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