Another Model Prayer
Dear Father, You are the giver of life and truth and grace. I thank You for all Your mercies.
Read LUKE 22:39-62
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Begin by saying the Lord’s Prayer, slowly and thoughtfully. Pause to reflect on each phrase.
Two unassuming words stand out at the beginning of this passage: “as usual” (39). It’s one of many references in the gospels to Jesus’ pattern of prayer (Matt. 6:5-14; Luke 6:12; Mark 1:35), and it leads us to a basic conclusion: If the Son of God needed to pray on a regular basis, so do we. I’m also intrigued by Jesus’ statement to his dozy disciples, “Get up and pray” (46). I’ve found it can be difficult to maintain focus in prayer for very long while seated in a comfortable chair. Some of my best prayer times have occurred when I walk outside, look into the sky and speak aloud to God.
Because Jesus had cultivated a lifestyle of prayer he was always ready for spiritual warfare. So let’s examine how he handled this critical moment (41-44). Like the model prayer Jesus gave his disciples (Matt. 6:9-13; Luke 11:1-4), he begins by addressing his Father; not a distant, unpredictable deity, but a loving Father. Next, he acknowledges his willingness to follow God’s will, “If you are willing.” He then makes his request, “take this cup from me.” Given his mission, it was an astounding request and a reminder that we can be completely honest with God. Finally, he submits to God’s plan, “Not my will, but yours be done.” That’s the model prayer for spiritual warfare.
Apparently Peter needed more time in his prayer closet, because under pressure he cracks (54-62). Or did he? His first denial could have been that of a secret agent, trying to find out what was happening. The second could have been that of a loyal soldier, saying whatever necessary to protect his commander. It was the third, a flat-out denial, that left Peter spiritually devastated (62). Even so, Jesus used this failure to strengthen Peter (John 21:15-19). That’s good news for us all.
What is your pattern of prayer? What steps could you take this week to cultivate your lifestyle of prayer?
Heavenly Father, You are more eager to listen than I am to pray. You are more desirous to answer than I am to ask. Fill me with a greater heart for prayer.
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