Published May 25, 2010
Most of you probably have a cell phone. After fighting the idea for years, so do I.
However, since I have a limited plan, generally I only use my cell phone on Saturdays or Sundays. During the week, I only turn the cell phone on when I need to contact someone and I am away from the office or home. Otherwise, it remains turned off in my purse.
If someone calls my cell phone on Monday and leaves a message, I will probably get it on Saturday IF I leave the house and turn on my phone while I am away from the house on Saturday. Information that could have been crucial on Monday, could well be useless information by Saturday when I get the message.
I am thankful that with the Lord, we don't have to worry that His phone is turned off. When we pray on Monday, He doesn't receive our message on Saturday. He receives our message immediately, as soon as it is uttered -- or as soon as it is even thought He hears it.
I am thankful that we don't have to worry that someone else is already on the prayer line. He doesn't have "call waiting," so that He has to put someone else on hold, before He can talk with us. We don't get a busy signal from the Lord, so that we need to call back later. I don't know how God does it, but He hears everyone of us. When together we spend time in prayer, God can hear the person who is speaking, as well as the person who is outwardly silent but praying in His heart. There is never a wait for His attention.
I Thessalonians 5:16-18 reads, "Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." This verse tells us to "pray without ceasing." Be so in tune with God that you can pray at the drop of a hat. You hear a siren -- you see a need and without a thought you are praying.
Luke 18: 1 reads, "Then He [Jesus] spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart." This verse again tells us to "always pray," even in a discouraging situation. We need to pray, especially when the temptation is strongest to give up.
Prayer was important to Jesus. In Matthew 6: 9-13, Jesus responds to the disciples request that He teach them to pray. I believe they had witnessed Jesus' prayer life and understood that prayer was important to Him. He tells the disciples, "In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen."
Prayer was important to Jesus also in that He needed to speak to His Father in heaven. The passage in Matthew 26 is the story of Jesus praying just before He was crucified. Jesus came to Gethsemane with his disciples. He asked them to watch with him and then went farther and fell on his face, praying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." He came back and found his disciples sleeping and questioned them whether they couldn't watch with him just one hour. You can almost sense His frustration. He says, "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." Then Jesus went again and prayed to His Father, "O My Father; if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." One can feel His urgency as He prayed. One can sense His heavy spirit, as He longs to hear from His Father. Prayer was important to Jesus.
We often talk about intercessory prayer. Intercession means to come between. It means to represent someone to God. We need to provide intercessory prayer for people around us for spiritual strength, for physical strength, for wisdom, for power against the battles that everyone of us face.
However, I like the fact that Jesus, at this moment, is interceding for us. He is between God and us. Hebrews 7:25 reads, "Therefore He (Jesus) is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them." And, Romans 8:24 tells us that Jesus is at the right hand of God making intercession for us. Prayer continues to be important to Jesus. And, what a thought, that the person He is praying for is me.
So, do we need to pray?
If Jesus needed to pray, so do we. If prayer was important enough that He taught His disciples how to pray, then we need to pray. If Jesus continues to pray to intercede -- then we need to pray also. If the Bible tells us to always pray and to pray without ceasing, then in an act of obedience we need to pray.
The good news is that when we pray, we are always heard. Unlike my cell phone that is often turned off, God's prayer line is always open. He is always available. He loves to hear us pray!
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