Matthew 14:23 After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray.
We often overlook the many references to Jesus praying. It might seem counter-intuitive that Jesus would pray, since He was – and is – a member of the Godhead. You could even say He was talking to Himself! However, when He took the form of a gamete in Mary’s womb He took on all the limitations we face, and that included His total communication with the Father and the Spirit. He was reduced to prayer! That said, He made full use of that incredible privilege we also are given, of talking to the Father on a personal basis, by the Holy Spirit. The more we understand the nature of that privilege and how marvelous it is, the more we will utilize it, with overflowing gratitude. When we understand that Jesus needed to pray, we will have no shame in doing it ourselves. It is amazing, but quite a few people – especially men – feel that prayer is an admission of weakness. When we compare ourselves with God, there is no room for claims of strength on our part!
I grew up in a home where prayer was as natural as breathing, but that doesn’t mean I have always made full use of the privilege. I am growing in what Paul calls “praying without ceasing,” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) but I can hardly say I’ve perfected it. I am to the point where I don’t hesitate to pray, anywhere, anytime, and that is a blessing indeed. As a pastor, I desire that joy for every believer, but too many draw back for one reason or another. For one thing, a habit of prayer makes you more sensitive to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, and that will keep you from sin. Some people don’t really want to be kept from sin! I am never to give up, but constantly and consistently speak the truth in love, modeling a lifestyle of fellowship with our Lord, asking the Holy Spirit to convict and guide as necessary.
Father, thank You for this reminder. Help me not proclaim the Word and then fail to appropriate and practice it myself! May I continue to grow in prayer, in fellowship with You in all ways at all times, so that Your will may be accomplished in and through me on Your schedule for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!