by Pastor Tim Burt
Mat 14:23 "After Jesus had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray."
Every Christian should know and understand the importance and power of prayer! When you come to that place, you come to realize that it is one of the most influential positions and powerful forces that God would privilege anyone with. But, even if you do come to understand that, because we live in such a defiled world with so much corruption and misery, the negative circumstances of life can work to wear us down and make us feel like our prayers avail little. That is not the case but most Christians feel that way at one time or another. Most Christians go through periods in their prayer life where they feel discouraged and powerless. And that leads to the feelings of "Why pray? What's the point?" That is a time where we have to step up and manage feelings of what isn't true - that our prayers our pointless - with what we know is true - that our prayers are powerful and effective!
When discouragement becomes someones experience in prayer, and when that results in prayer becoming routine or mindless or something we keep putting off or even stop doing, the alarm is ringing and you need to wake up and be refreshed in truth!
Jesus knew better than to let that happen. Let’s take a look at His example to us and be refreshed of exactly why we can’t let our prayer life be stolen from us. I want to show you a day in the life of Jesus.
In the verses you are about to read, you will see that Jesus just lost his cousin John to persecution - he was beheaded by Herod. He had no time to personally mourn because he was being swarmed by intense crowds who wanted to hear and be healed by Him. They didn’t care how He was feeling. They were consumed with their own needs. Jesus had to seek the Father through prayer in order to take care of the diversity of needs these people thronged Him with. Remember, He stripped Himself of His divinity to live as a man living by faith as He taught us to. He eliminated His divine advantages. He lived by faith which is fed through the Word of God and prayer – just like we are to do!
The people wanted to follow Him everywhere. Jesus knew that His source of strength, miraculous power, refreshing, and instruction from God came through prayer. So, He didn't start the day in prayerlessness nor finish this horrendous day crashing on the couch. Instead He yielded in prayer to His Father. It was a good thing He did because after an exhausting day, He had a spiritual emergency call that night. Because He was spending time with the Father, the Holy Spirit prompted Him to go save His disciples from an attack of Satan. Had He not taken the time to pray, He may have been too spiritually weary and not done it. The next day he started this kind of routine all over again. Is a prayer life an option for us? Can we afford to let is slide? As you will see, people were dependent upon Jesus. He had to pray. Read all this for yourself.
Mat 14:9-33 King Herod was distressed… he ordered... John beheaded in the prison. His head was brought in on a platter… John's disciples came and took his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus.(John was Jesus' cousin.) When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place. Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns. When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick. As evening approached, the disciples came to him and said, "This is a remote place, and it's already getting late. Send the crowds away, so they can go to the villages and buy themselves some food." Jesus replied, "They do not need to go away. You give them something to eat." "We have here only five loaves of bread and two fish," they answered. "Bring them here to me," he said. And he directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. The number of those who ate was about five thousand men, besides women and children. Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid." "Lord, if it's you," Peter replied, "tell me to come to you on the water." "Come," he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!" Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?" And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, "Truly you are the Son of God."
Because Jesus prayed, God could work through Him. Even though His heart hurt over the personal loss of His beheaded cousin John, and even though He was weary and exhausted, he still prayed. He prayed even though He had to have wanted to just crash, rest, and zone out. When we pray, like Jesus, we can be used to speak words that bring life and encouragement. We can bring people Jesus' healing touch. When we pray and trust God, we can be a part of someone's miracle!
Jesus gave His life to be an example for us. Prayer infuses refreshing, faith, direction, instruction, strength, and great purpose. It's not a place to drift from. It's something to yearn for and yield to. The lives of many depend upon it! Don’t let any kind of discouragement render you ineffective. Pray! Let God refresh and empower you like He did Jesus. Prayer will help you be led by the Holy Spirit to help prevent and destroy the evil that Satan attacks lives with. You are crititcal to lives being saved!
James 5:16 "... The earnest prayer of a Christ-believer who has had his/her sins washed away by the blood of Jesus, has great power and produces wonderful results."
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
Published by Pastor Tim Burt
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