How do we approach the Lord when we have a big decision to make? Do we pray for many hours? Do we fast? Do we seek counsel? With the challenge of choosing the twelve disciples, the particular time selected by Christ to pray is meant to be a lesson to all of us. He had a decision to make that would resound throughout history. The decision coming the next day required perfect communication and unity with His Father. Can you see the great oneness of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit in this decision? Can you grasp the depth of unity the Lord is asking us to enter with our fellow believers?
Jesus prayed the whole night (see Luke 6:12-16). He set an example that we should follow. In great emergencies in our life, when we have duties with boundless consequences or we are about to face encounters with severe complications, we should seek divine blessing and direction by an unusual portion of time for prayer. Our Savior did it. We should follow in His footsteps.
People in the business world will sometimes spend hours in strategic planning, goal setting and marketing plan development, even if it takes all-night sessions. Why should it seem strange Christians spend an equal portion of time in the far more important business of prayer that has eternal significance? We need our minds renewed. We need to see the great necessity for prayer.
Jesus was completely a man, but He was also completely God. We can ask, "Why would Jesus pray?" As a man He had the same needs that we have—He needed divine support, strength and blessing. The mystery here is that there was no more contradiction in His praying than there was in His drinking or eating. Both are consistent with who He was while here on this earth.
We pray for a lot of things. Mostly we pray for things we need (or think we need). We pray for the forgiveness of our sins. But Jesus had no sin. He was tempted, but He did not fall into temptation. There was no backsliding on His part. "Forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors" (Matt. 6:12) is an appropriate prayer for us, but He didn't need it for Himself. Paul describes this inner struggle that each of us face: "O wretched man that I am!" (Rom. 7:24a). But Jesus didn't experience this. He had guarded His heart from sin and the enemy: "The ruler of this world is coming. He has no power over Me" (John 14:30). The enemy had no way to find entrance into Christ's heart.
The mystery: He was divine, yet He was tempted just like us. He was perfect, yet He was a man. He needed to pray all night on occasion, particularly on this occasion; His humanity compelled Him to pray. Jesus was fully human, mentally and emotionally. He sought the Father's wisdom, setting a profound example for us. If Jesus, who while fully human was also fully God, needed to pray for wisdom, how much more do we need to follow His example?
Jesus frequently prayed before significant events. He called upon God the Father to be in compete communion with Him in choosing the Twelve. He called on the Father and the Holy Spirit for more understanding. He wanted to be in total unity with the Father and the Holy Spirit in the choosing of the disciples. The example is clear for us if we have spiritual eyes to see: Christ wants us to grow in spiritual understanding and in the knowledge and application of His Word, but we must submit all that we are to His Spirit. We must commune with Him every day to know His will for our lives in all situations.
It is in the secret place with God where we learn from Him. By the Lord's matchless grace given to us, we can live every day and make every decision in concert with His will for our lives. We can fellowship with Christ so intimately in the secret place that we can understand His will for our lives and be empowered by His Spirit to walk it out.
Adapted from 40 Days Through the Prayers of Jesus by Tim Cameron, copyright 2017, published by charisma house; Charisma Media/Charisma House Book Group. This book will help you discover many of the secrets, mysteries and provoking lessons that Jesus's prayer life teaches. You will also discover how prayer opens your eyes to see the miraculous in the mundane, as well as receive more revelation of God's character. To order your copy, click on this link.
Prayer Power for the Week of Oct. 22, 2017
This week as you meet with God in the secret place, thank Him for His mercy, grace and answered prayer. Continue to pray for much-needed revival for our nation and the world. Remember those who suffered loss of loved ones through crime, war and natural disasters. Bless the first responders and ask God to comfort those needing comfort and strengthen those who are working 24/7 to meet the needs of those affected by the wildfires, storms and terrorism. Pray that God would surround our leaders with wise counsel and grant them the wisdom they need to make decisions affecting us and the world. Ask Him to show you how you can best serve others in this time of need. Read: Psalm 5:3. 69:13, 42:8
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