Jesus leads us in Prayer too
Throughout this week we have been looking at following Christ as He leads us along – especially when His leading seems to be getting ahead of us. We like to travel at a comfortable, familiar pace. But as any runner will tell you, you don’t get stronger unless you push yourself just a little bit faster, just a little bit farther.
Yes, prayer is simply the child of God conversing with his or her heavenly Father. Like a child we grow in this. Our first prayers, like our first words, may simply be a calling out to God. As a babe learns to say “mama,” so a soul first pleads “Abba,” Father. At first a child thinks only of its own world, it’s own needs and desires. It cries when these demands are not met, or when life gets uncomfortable. Baby believers are likewise inwardly focussed, “Lord, heal me, lead me, grant me…” Much of their praying may yet be complaints, questions, challenges or demands.
But with time, nurture, example and challenge both babe and believer must grow. Communications should begin to turn outward not only inward.
“Mommy I love you,” – “I thank and praise you my Lord.”
“Sylvie is sad; I will draw her a picture!” – “Father, minister to others through me this day.”
“Dad, we need to get some guys together to re-shingle Bill’s roof. – “Father, send more labourers into the harvest of souls.”
Yes, we can all simply speak to the Lord at any time, being ourselves, in words or without them. But we can also stretch more deeply into prayer. We can pray longer, more frequently. We can pray through a night in watches, in vigils. We can add fasting to our praying. We can pray with words or in the spirit with weeping…
“…the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26 – NASB).
The Lord has also given us a template for our praying. “Pray like this,” says Jesus:
Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one. (Matt. 6:9-13).
Not by rote repetition, but by way of remembering: God is our Father, yet He is Holy. His Kingdom and Will are our priority. We are utterly dependent upon Him – for food, but also for forgiveness and purity. As He has given us grace and mercy, so we must extend it to others also.
Grow in God. Follow Him with wholeness of heart. Go deeper in prayer.
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