We pray because Jesus did! A simple answer, but to go too far from that simple point will take us away from the heart of the matter. The disciples asked Jesus, how to pray, for they saw that the power in His life, His intimacy with the Father…was so different, really different than anything or anyone they had seen before.
Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when He finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught His disciples.” Luke 11:1
There was something different evidenced in Jesus’ life of prayer. It was very intimate, and it was very private, often spending extended time in prayer, praying all night, but the power in His teaching and ministry, the miracles the words of knowledge, were released in the public arena. His disciples saw this, and in their accounts of His life, we have a window into the prayer life of Jesus.
“In these days He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night He continued in prayer to God.” Luke 6:12
He evidenced great power that flowed from His prayer life,
…His disciples asked Him privately, “Why could we not cast it out (the demon from the boy)? And He said to them, “This kind cannot be driven out by anything but prayer.” (some versions add fasting) Luke 9:28-29
I remember a picture of Jesus from the wall in my room as a child, probably depicting one of these nights in prayer. It was painted on top of cross section of pine. It was not anything special, probably would have gained $1.50 at a yard sale, as my family was not know to have fine art in our house. But, the picture impacted me. I would inspect the interlocking fingers, in an odd pattern, the kind of mystical look on Jesus’ face and it had that hazy glow coming from above, not the typical halo, but it spoke to me of that response from the Father. His mouth was closed, so there was a sense of a peaceful communion. It was subtle, and I am not sure it was theologically correct or, if Jesus was of the right race or color, but it had an effect on my childhood, to the point where I can see it today.
I have recently been challenged to return to this personal state that honestly, more typified my early walk with Jesus than my current one. I love the connection of the picture on the left, but the one on the right shows me that desperation – the need for Jesus to be with the Father. Do you have that desperation?
In our ministry in El Salvador, after 2 years, we have seen things happen through prayer and know it is of great importance. Next post I am going to share 5 things that intentional, prayer accomplished in the life of Jesus…next time…
But, today I want to leave you with this thought: If the effectiveness of Jesus in His life and calling was so divinely connected to the Father through prayer, what place should prayer play in your life?
Did you pray?