Continuing with our theme of being disciples:
‘’Prayer is simply talking with God; it’s a two way process: speaking and listening. He speaks to us: we listen. We speak to him: he listens.’ (Mother Teresa)
What has talking to God got to do with being a disciple?
Martin Luther once wrote ‘To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing’. Prayer is quite simply the life blood of discipleship. For many people prayer is a last resort, for use in emergencies only! But according to Jesus, prayer is key to our lives. Prayer not only establishes a relationship with God, it is vital to maintaining our relationship with him. Prayer is a means of communicating with our loving Heavenly Father, and building the relationship for which we were created. Prayer is designed to allow us as disciples to have profound intimacy with God.
Throughout the Gospels we see Jesus modelling how prayer should work in the life of his disciples: Mornings, evenings, after preaching, before preaching, whenever possible - Jesus prayed. He prayed in gardens, on mountains, and in solitary places. Physically separated from the Father’s presence, Jesus united spiritually with the Father through prayer, seeking his will and glorifying his name. He publicly voiced praise and thanksgiving to the Father, as well as praying petitions on behalf of his disciples. Far from trying to manipulate a distant and whimsical God, Jesus modelled a life of personal relationship and trust, passionately seeking to know the will of his Father, and to be able to surrender to it fully. More than simply accessing God’s provision and power, prayer held Jesus in the very presence of God himself.
Similarly, Jesus calls us to abide in him. Through prayer, we delight in his presence, meditate on his word, and walk in his Spirit. In prayer we ask God to search the inner recesses of our hearts to make us truly clean. We strap on our spiritual armour. We trade in our tangled knots of anxiety for his peace ‘the peace which passes all understanding’. We receive whatever we ask of God when we ask according to his will and in Jesus’ name. When we pray, the results are simply astounding: he transforms us; we begin to absorb his priorities and passions; we start to see the world and people through his eyes; more and more we want to obey him. Over time, we even become more like him. Abiding in Christ through prayer marks us as his disciples: the watching world can tell when we’ve been in the presence of Jesus!
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18) .
Grace & peace,
Jen is an energetic and passionate disciple of Christ who loves to share Jesus with anyone who will listen!