Ray McDonald's Blog

Thoughts and Reflections

How’s Our Prayer Life?

Luke 6:12

One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.

IMG_0301Many people – when asked – say they have a hard time coming up with things to pray about if asked to spend more than 10-15 minutes in prayer – as if prayer has to be scripted or detailed.  Today’s passage reminds me of times when I spent hours – even all night – praying.  During those times – it was more important to be in God’s presence – and to listen to God speak – instead of having an agenda or a pat prayer to say.

Here are some questions this morning. Why do we pray? What do we seek in prayer? Do we expect God to be some sort of Genie – where we evoke His name in prayer and poof – we get what we ask for – instantaneously? What are our expectations in prayer?

As we answer those questions – we might begin to examine our prayer life. Prayer is our communication with God. Our prayer time is that personal time or even cooperate time of being personal with God. Getting real and personal with God is something that is amazing – God allows us to come into His presence and voice our heart!

Here is today’s passage in partial context. It is a long reading – yet reveals something about the heart of prayer for sure. Luke 6:1–16 – 1 One Sabbath Jesus was going through the grainfields, and his disciples began to pick some heads of grain, rub them in their hands and eat the kernels. Some of the Pharisees asked, “Why are you doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath?” Jesus answered them, “Have you never read what David did when he and his companions were hungry? 4 He entered the house of God, and taking the consecrated bread, he ate what is lawful only for priests to eat. And he also gave some to his companions.” 5 Then Jesus said to them, “The Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” 6 On another Sabbath he went into the synagogue and was teaching, and a man was there whose right hand was shriveled. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were looking for a reason to accuse Jesus, so they watched him closely to see if he would heal on the Sabbath. 8 But Jesus knew what they were thinking and said to the man with the shriveled hand, “Get up and stand in front of everyone.” So he got up and stood there. 9 Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?” 10 He looked around at them all, and then said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He did so, and his hand was completely restored. 11 But the Pharisees and the teachers of the law were furious and began to discuss with one another what they might do to Jesus. 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: 14 Simon (whom he named Peter), his brother Andrew, James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, 15 Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon who was called the Zealot, 16 Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.

Jesus was constantly having difficulty with the church leaders of His day – here it was the Pharisees and the teachers of the law. They were constantly focused on the wrong thing – they persistently tried to find ways to discredit the messenger so that they could discredit the message He shared.

How do we handle adverse situations in our lives? What place does prayer hold in our daily walk through these difficult times? Do we realize that even Jesus – the Son of God – spent time in prayer to give Him peace – to give Him connection with the Father? In this passage – after a trying day – He spent the night praying.  Have we ever spent a night praying?

Recently I said in a sermon that we should consistently develop our relationship with Jesus during the good times so that the relationship would be strong for when we faced difficult times. Instead – many folks avoid digging deeper with God when times are going well and thus – when the hard times come – they scramble for something to say in prayer.  Does this ring true in our lives?

How’s our prayer life? When is the last time we spent the night praying? If that is too much – when is the last time we spent an hour in prayer? Maybe some of our spiritual battles and failures are a result of our lack of communication with Jesus?  Did we ever think about it that way?

Just something to think about today as you go on your way.

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January 30, 2015 - Posted by | Church, Community, Daily Devotion, Daily Prayer, Discipleship, Encouragement, Evangelism, Faith Journey, Family, From the Pastor, Holy Spirit, Leadership, Outreach, Personal, Prayer, Theology | , , , , , , ,

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