#453 (6/10/21) - JESUS PRAYED
Over the next three weeks, our devotionals will be based on our vision at CCP. If you are not a part of our church, I trust that you will still find these reflections helpful.
Our vision is to be a church community that is,
“Bringing people to Jesus - myself, one another and my community”
This week we are focussing on what it means to bring ‘myself’ to Jesus.
Jesus was God and yet He prayed. Why would God need to pray? Jesus could speak and the wind and the waves obeyed Him so why pray? One answer is that Jesus was God but was also fully man. As a perfect man, He lived the ideal life and this must be devoted to prayer. On one occasion we read,
‘One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles…’ (Luke 5:12-13)
Even when choosing his disciples Jesus prayer all night! Jesus is setting us an example of including God wants in the decisions of our lives.
Jesus was busy and had good reasons to neglect personal, quality time in prayer. However, Mark and Luke record,
‘Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”’ (Mark 1:35-37)
‘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. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.’ (Luke 5:15)
Jesus was the perfect man and is our model. We are called to follow Jesus and Jesus prayed! Peter and John saw Jesus’ example and so became men of prayer also. If we are genuinely seeking to know Jesus and be like Him we will also make prayer our priority.
Jesus loved the Father and so loved to spend time with Him. The Father loved the Son and so loved to spend time with Him. Likewise, the Father loves us to spend time with Him. The Father loves to hear our efforts at prayer. Jesus taught us to pray ‘Our Father…’ This is who Jesus prayed to and it’s whom we have the privilege and joy of praying to also.
PRAY AND WORSHIP OUT OF THE BIBLE
In keeping with this aim of developing a personal relationship with God through prayer and worship out of the Bible, we’ll be developing our skill in meditation and prayer using the structure that we are taught in The Lord’s Prayer.
If you look at The Lord’s Prayer (Matthew 6:9-13), you’ll see that it can be broken into 4 major themes of Praise (6:9) , Petitions (6:10-11), Peace-making (Matthew 6:12) and Protection (Matthew 6:13).
In the Garden of Gethsamane, before His death, we overhear Jesus praying using some of the themes from The Lord's Prayer. We read how Peter, James and John are urged to pray but fail. In this narrative may we hear Jesus calling us to personal devotion to prayer.
Using Mark 14:32-41, use the Lord’s prayer structure (below) to help you to pray.
‘‘They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.” Going a little farther, he fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from him. “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him. Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners.’ (Mark 14:32-41)
1. Praise - What does this text teach me about God? What can I praise Him for?
2. Petitions - What does this teach me about His will for me and others? What could I pray for from this text? This is a good time to pray for our non-believing. friends. It’s good to ask, Is the Holy Spirit leading me in any specific response?
3. Peace-making - Is the Holy Spirit convicting me of sin for which I need forgiveness? Do I need to forgive others?
4. Protection - Ask for God’s protection generally and for any specific areas of vulnerability. Am I believing lies regarding the truths in this text?
COMMUNITY GROUP STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
Let's be praying and actively preparing to invite friends to our carol service on 5th December. Please make sure this is in your diary
How has God spoken to you from the Bible this week?
THIS WEEK IS SIV (SERVE INVEST AND INVITE) WEEK.
Let's spend this time sharing, thinking and praying about how God wants to work through us to help our communities to come to Jesus. Let's never forget the Great Commission that Jesus has given to us,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
SIV is our main strategy for reaching our communities for Jesus. It has three elements: