“HE PRAYED” (PT. 2)

“It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12 NASB).

 The Gospel according to Luke catalogues more carefully the history of Jesus the Messiah than any recorded by the other Gospel writers. One of the most peculiar records of events in the life of our Lord was his earthly habit of prayer. Why does Luke make more of this feature than the others? Perhaps, he wanted to affirm, in addition to the divine nature of Yeshua, he wanted to affirm his real humanity.

 HIS HABIT 

Our Lord (Yeshua) Jesus, grew up in a religious culture. It was normal that three times a day (9 am, 12 Noon & 3 pm) was the Jewish hours for prayer. So, in one sense, we could say it was a religious habit for Yeshua (being a good Jew) to pray. A habit of prayer is to be commended. But with our Lord, it was more than the routine of prayer. He, as our example for all things, shows the HUMILITY of the DISCIPLINE of Prayer.

 DEPENDENCY

 Yeshua (Jesus) shows us the way into the Father’s presence is the prayer of dependency. He took on all the limitations of our humanity (Saving Sin). He did not attempt to do the work of his Father without prayer and heaven’s assistance. Likewise, the apostle Paul was driven to his knees as a necessity not as a religious luxury. With all of his zeal and religious learning (Even revelations!), he must face his human, carnal limitations in doing God’s work.

 “Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me-to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9 NASB).

Paul had to learn that some prayers don’t get answered in the way we would wish! But to form a disciplined life of prayer is never wasted. Prayer affirms my dependency on the grace and power of God IN me in order that HIS life can be manifest THROUGH me (And inspite of me!).  Forming a daily habit of prayer declares, “Not I but Christ”(see Galatians 2:20-21).

A BAND OF BROTHERS

Luke further records that Yeshua prayed all night because he would choose the men who would labor with him, advancing the kingdom of God on earth. He shows a valuable lesson for those who a building a business, organization or ministry. The most important time spent is not the time spent in the field of Work. Rather it is the time spent for the Workers for the field. Jesus through prayer to the Father chose His Team. Later on, “He said to His disciples, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out workers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:37-38 NASB).

This is no doubt, in part, the reason for a lack of abiding fruit in the Lord’s work.  It is not merely the lack of prayer. But it is also due to lack of FOCUSED prayer. We need to renew our commitment and focus in prayer not merely because the harvest is ripe but because the workers are few.  Through the efficiency of prayer we will see both the INCREASE of the workers and the QUALITY of the workers HE desires.  We must pray them in.

 

(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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