Jesus began all things with prayer and desires that we follow His example.
The magnificent opportunity looms before us—our lives can be dramatically changed by the power of Jesus Christ; being conformed to His image and transformed by the renewing of our minds (Rom. 8:29; 12:1-2). We can experience the victorious Christian life for ourselves and see significance to be realized—we can bring glory to God and build His kingdom. All of this begins with and is maintained by prayer.
Understanding this, Jesus gave us a visible, audible and miraculous example of the importance of prayer. At the very beginning He began with prayer. Jesus prayed while He was being baptized. Then He immediately went to the desert for 40 days of fasting, which was obviously accompanied by prayer. Jesus prayed about all things as He navigated life, and he stole away often to pray and listen to the Father. Prayer is how He began His public life and how He wants us to begin all things in our lives.
It didn't matter if the issue at hand was profound or an everyday incident—Jesus began all things with prayer.
Beginning all things in prayer is a foundational discipline of the Christian life. The times of praying in stillness and solitude are when God reaches into our minds, emotions and wills, the deepest places of our souls. In the quiet stillness of prayer we free ourselves from the constant distractions of the world and the nagging whispers of our past, dysfunctions and sins. Beginning all things with in prayer during the day and having close and continual fellowship with God will leave its mark on us.
As we follow our Lord by beginning everything in prayer, we position ourselves to receive the glorious benefits that flow from this way of living. First and foremost, prayer is our path to intimacy with God. There is no other way to deeply know God apart from the stillness of prayer (see Ps. 46:10).
In the quiet stillness of prayer, we answer God's invitation to spend time with Him, discover His nature and become intimately acquainted with Him.
One of the sweetest and most powerful benefits of beginning all things in prayer is that our "spiritual ears" will be trained to recognize His voice. We learn to quiet our thoughts, our educational training and our persuasions. We become deaf to anything except His voice and will. By following Christ's example and beginning all things in prayer, we are able to discern His voice above the cacophony of the world and the murmurs of the enemy. Learning to recognize His voice is foundational preparation for hearing the Lord through the Word.
The foundation of any relationship is trust. Trust is a by-product of knowing someone deeply. When we begin all things in prayer, our relationship with God goes deeper and deeper. We will find ourselves easily trusting Him with events that may have sent shock waves through our lives in times past. Trust strengthens our faith, and we begin the great transformation to become childlike again. With faith like a child, we trust the One we know loves us deeply and sacrificed so much on our behalf.
Jesus Christ left us the example of beginning all things in prayer at His baptism. As He prayed, the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descended on the fully human Jesus and filled Him. This is what happened to Jesus. This is also the great promise to us. By beginning all things in prayer, we open ourselves to the fullness of the Holy Spirit and His power. The Holy Spirit will help us in our lack and intercede for us. What an amazing thought! The Holy Spirit will teach us to pray. He will strengthen us in our resolve to begin all things in prayer. He will perfect our prayers even in our weakness.
The natural, spiritual outcome of being filled with the fullness of the Holy Spirit will begin to take place in our lives—we will take up the mantle to fulfill Christ's prayer: "Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven" (Matt. 6:10). We will become intercessors.
In the midst of all this the lesson is clear for us—Jesus began everything in His life of ministry with prayer. Shouldn't we do the same?
Adapted from Forty Days Through the Prayers of Jesus—A Journey to Pray More Like Christ by Tim Cameron, copyright 2017, published by Charisma House-Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group. This book will take you on a 40-Day journey into the Lord's prayer life and teach you how to avoid hindrances, get answers to prayer, and know Him more intimately. To order your copy, click on this link.
Prayer Power for the Week of June 18, 2017
This week as we approach Father's Day, make a resolve to move into greater intimacy with heavenly Father by following Jesus' example of beginning everything with prayer. Continue to pray for worldwide revival, more laborers for the harvest, our president and those making decisions with him that affect us all. Pray for our allies and those affected and victimized by recent terrorist attacks and tragedies in London and elsewhere. Read: Romans 8:29, 12:1-2; Psalm 46:10.
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