‘HE PRAYED” (PT. 1)

“Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear” (Hebrews 5:7 ASV).

 There is nothing, perhaps, more overlooked in the life of Jesus than his earthly prayer life. Perhaps it is because we do not take into account his humanity while exalting his divinity. In other words, because of our defense of he being the unique Son of God we minimize the reality of his human nature. His humanity was real. He did not get “a pass” because he was sent from a heavenly realm into the earth. He did not come as an angel but as a man.

REAL TESTS

Yeshua (Jesus) was subjected to real temptations, on every level. “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted. (Hebrews 2:18 NASB)   He was not immune from the temptations of life. Rather, He faced them squarely as part of the fallen human condition…Not for himself merely but for you and me.  When He was “driven in to the wilderness by the Holy Spirit”, it was for the specific purpose of facing one of the most intense battle with the Adversary, Satan.

One of his temptations and tests was hunger.  He faced hunger because he had fasted for forty days. The tempter came at him with the temptation of Self-initiating, Self-directed “rights and prerogative”. After all “If your are really the Son of God…Prove it! Take matters into your own hands; “Turn these stones into bread”(Read Luke 4:2-3).  “After all, you have the power to do so.”

Jesus did not yield to this temptation. Later in Scriptures, we will see him (Directed of the Father) feeding the multitudes through a creative miracle.  But Why not now, in this moment when he is hungry? I believe there is a two reasons..

First, He had submitted his human nature to his spiritual nature. He only did the will of his heavenly Father.  One of the sure ways of breaking free of human limitations is to submit ourselves to God. Jesus’ response to the tempter was not a debate but a rebuff. “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). His heart and mind were held captive to God’s Word. “For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 NASB)

 The second reason Yeshua (Jesus) did not “buckle under” the pressure of temptation was that HE PRAYED.  He understood that prayer was an aspect of fasting and that prayer was necessary for victory over the enemy of his soul.  “Who in the days of his flesh, having offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and having been heard for his godly fear, though he was a Son, yet learned obedience by the things which he suffered”(Hebrews 5:7-8 ASV).

He prayed because prayer was the hotline to heaven. He prayed because heaven’s assistance was needed. He prayed because he knew that heaven’s army was available to him. The holy angels stood at attention,waiting to be sent of His Father to help him war a better warfare. This was activated in the unseen realms by prayer.  He knew that although the CONFLICT was real, through prayer the CONQUEST was assured. So it is true for us today.

The apostle Paul wrote, “Finally, be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of his might. Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Wherefore take up the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and, having done all, to stand…with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints”(Ephesians 6:10-13, 18 ASV).

Prayer succeeds where human attempts fail. Our Lord, in His days here on earth, prayed through to victory. So must we.

 

(c) Copyright 2014, Walter Fletcher Jr. All rights reserved. This article may be copied and shared free of charge provided that it is not sold or altered in any way from its original content. Please address all correspondence to: Walterfletcherjr@gmail.com

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