by Jim Mickells
The apostle Paul said, “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If there was ever a person who exemplified this in his life it certainly would be our Lord. He taught His disciples how to pray (Luke 11:1-4). Parables were spoken by Him to encourage His followers to petition God (Luke 18:1-8). Prayer was offered by Him so that all believers would be united in serving His Father (John 17:20-21). Often we read in the Scriptures of Him approaching His Father’s throne in prayer. On one occasion He arose long before daylight, going to a solitary place, to pray (Mark 1:35). Luke tells us of an instance when He prayed all night to God (Luke 6:12). Take the time to read Matthew 26:36-44. Our Lord is in the garden of Gethsemane pouring His heart out to Jehovah just prior to His crucifixion. There are some valuable lessons here for us.
We need to pray. If Jesus, the sinless Son of God saw the need to pray, we surely need to be a people of prayer. Could you ever think of a time in which we would truthfully say, “I don’t need God or His help”? I’m dependent upon Jehovah for all my physical and spiritual needs. As He provides these necessities, then I should gratefully express my thanks to Him for everything I have. I also have family, friends, and neighbors who need the type of help I cannot provide; only God can supply the things needed by them. The one thing I can do? Pray for them!
The One who can help—the Father. Think of all the things Christ was about to face. One disciple betraying Him, all the others fleeing, His rejection by the Jews, the mockery of a trial, the ridicule, being spit upon, hit in the face, scourging, being crucified on the cross, etc.. Our Lord recognized the only source from which help could come. The Psalmist said, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills—From whence comes my help? My help comes from the LORD, Who made heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1-2). My grandson, Canaan, while visit with Sylvia and I had a seizure. I cannot ever remember feeling so helpless and so in need. There are some things no one can help you with but God.
Persistence in prayer. The text says, ‘So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words” (Matthew 26:44). The word of God warms us about drifting (Hebrews 2:1), not growing in the faith (1 Peter 2:2), failure to be steadfast (1 Corinthians 15:58), being lukewarm in our service to God (Revelation 3:16), etc.. We see members of the church slowly but surely drifting away from the Lord. One of the first signs to us is their lack of attendance (Hebrews 10:25). Yet as one examines his own life, one of the first signs to that individual, is his prayer life. How often do you find yourself praying to God? Do you have time set aside each day to enter your closet in prayer to the Father? Paul was not the only one who said pray without ceasing. It was said by Jesus, “Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
It is about the Father’s will. As the Lord prayed that the cup of His suffering might pass from Him, His conclusion was “nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26:39). When teaching His disciples to pray, He said “Your will be done” (Luke 11:2); speaking of the Father’s will. John says, “Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14). Jehovah did not remove the cup of suffering faced by our Lord Jesus Christ. Notice what He did do, “Then an angel appeared to Him from heaven, strengthening Him” (Luke 22:43). Paul’s thorn in the flesh was not removed, though he asked three times for its removal. Yet look what the Lord said to him, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Corinthians 12:9). As we pray to our God His answer might be no or not now, yet strength will be given to help us in doing His will. Our prayers should always be not my will but yours, Father, be done. What an awesome God we serve. Help us to accept Your will for us Father!
—via Meditate On These Things