I have found in my life that finding the time to pray is not always easy. Of course, I believe that there are many methods of communication with God, indeed, with Jesus concerning prayer. There are intentional times that we take time out alone to pray, there are times we pray thanks as a group or alone (as in prayers at dinner or in church), there are times we simply talk to God spontaneously in little burst in our minds as we are experiencing things going on around us, and there are times we intentionally pray for others (we call this intercessory prayer).
Prayer is such a vital but in our lives. It is, I think, an often misunderstood part of our life and relationship with God. In my life, Jesus is the master. As I have applied the lessons I learned from walking in the dust of His footsteps, my life has been transformed. So, what can we learn from the master?
Jesus always took intentional time to pray. Usually in a solitary and quiet place.
Luke 3:21 (TNIV) (Jesus prayed after being baptized)
When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened
Luke 6:12-13 (TNIV) (Jesus prayed when before He chose the twelve disciples)
12 One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. 13 When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles:
Luke 5:15-16 (TNIV) (Jesus prayed when He dealt with large crowds)
15 Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
John 6:15 (TNIV) (Jesus prayed when people wanted to make Him King)
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
Luke 22:32 (TNIV) (Jesus prayed for individuals)
“But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers.”
Prayer is the very vital link between us and God, indeed, Jesus. Communication is a very vital link between me and my wife, me and my parents, me and my friends……..without it…..we become distant……hmmmmmmm….maybe we are on to something here! If we try to live a life with no prayer, we may find our grace, our strength and our peace diminished…..because we are ‘distant” from our creator and the one who loves us unconditionally.
Spontaneous prayer is important, just as spontaneous conversation is important in my relationship with my wife. However, it is equally, if not more, important to set aside time and break away from the rigors of our day to simply talk together……the same is true with God, indeed Jesus.
Set aside time daily, just you and God, to communicate, to share your thanks (Luke 3:21), to ask for help in your daily decisions (Luke 6:12-13), to ask for strength in your daily walk (Luke 5:15-16), to ask God to help you to stay focused, humble and servant minded (John 6:15)…and yes…….to ask for these things for others that God has put in your life (Luke 22:32). Jesus is on the main line….tell Him what you want….