JESUS & A LIFE OF PRAYER
“But now even more the report about him went abroad, and great crowds gathered to hear him and to be healed of their infirmities. But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray.” - LUKE 5:15-16
On Sunday, February 10 at our worship services, Prism’s Prayer Team will be sharing their work behind the scenes (and inviting you to take part). This coming Sunday I will be preaching from JOHN 17 about Jesus’ “High Priestly Prayer.” The fact that Jesus does it should be enough evidence for us that we need to pray. So, why do so many find praying a chore?
I think one clue about what makes a person pray is found in the life of Jesus. Often times when He went away by himself to pray is exactly when things in His life were heating up (or He knew they were about to). Jesus was perfectly aware that He needed the strength of the Father and the Spirit. He never thought there was a time where prayer wasn’t a necessity.
Many can testify to the same capacity to pray when life’s stresses are high or when the odds are heavily against them. I’d like to suggest that the problem with our prayer life is one of truth and perspective…we are always desperately in need of Jesus. The odds (apart from His sovereign grace) are always against us. He made it clear that without Him we can do nothing (JOHN 15:5). That’s the Gospel truth.
The reason we don’t pray is because our perspective is so distorted by our life in this culture (I’m speaking to fellow affluent westerners here). We genuinely usually feel that we’re capable of doing it without God - which is what spawned the uniquely American sentiment (not from Scripture) that God helps those who help themselves.
From the earliest of ages an American child hears the American born (reportedly Ben Franklin’s) refrain, “You can do anything you set your mind to.” While I certainly believe that hard work does pay dividends in life, the statement that I can do ANYTHING I sent my mind to is foolish. With average high school basketball skills, no height, and ZERO quick-twitch leaping ability…I was never going to get to the NBA. There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, but runts without supreme athletic ability don’t play pro basketball.
Jesus’ testimony of our need aside, there is ample evidence that God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) knows we need Him every hour. The New Testament teaches that a genuine child of God in Christ has access to the Father anytime and anyplace (ROMANS 5:1-2). Scripture also teaches that Jesus is the only mediator we need, and He lives to intercede for us (HEBREWS 7:25). We’re also told in the Bible that the Holy Spirit intercedes for us (ROMANS 8:26-27). That’s a lot of ongoing Divine support for us, which implies that we need it.
In light of God’s commitment to the process, it seems we should be as aware that we need to be praying. Whether times are good or tough, it is always true from God’s perspective that we need to be prayed for (hence Jesus and Spirit are at work, even as you read this). We need to be in the places and with the people who will remind us that prayer is needed at all times; because whether or not we have the right perspective at this moment, we need Him desperately.
Below we’ve attached our PRISM PRAYER GUIDE for 2019. Please join us in praying for RENEWAL at Prism Church and for the specific requests listed here. Thank you