Thursday, January 22, 2009

Thinking About Jesus' Prayer Life

I have been thinking and reflecting on Jesus life of prayer. We often get carried away with the ministry of Jesus as though his public life was all that he did. We forget that he spent vast amounts of time walking with his disciples the 90 miles from Nazareth to Jerusalem and beyond. We also conveniently forget the slower pace of life for everyone in Jesus' day. Yet, even in that slower paced life Jesus found time, or rather made time, for long periods of solitude in prayer.

The Gospel writers are careful to record the quiet side of Jesus of Nazareth. I think it is worth looking at each of those references and reflection on the solitude of Jesus heart. I will link this article to those references at the end of this article. He longed to spend time with His Heavenly Father. No matter what was happening, no matter how busy he was, no matter how exciting the miracles and ministry, Jesus made time to get alone with God.

The same was true of all men of God in the Bible. They were not men of God because they were men of the Word, or men of miracles, or men of great ministries, or men of war. They were great men of God because they spent lavish times alone with God in the wilderness, the desert, and on the mountains. I stand amazed recently as I studied the life of Elijah. He spent a whole year alone by the brook where ravens fed him. What did he do all day? Then Moses spent long hours and days in his wilderness and mountain retreats alone with God. Even busy Paul said he spent three years in Arabia after his conversion. We are not told that by Luke in the Book of Acts. Luke focused on the public ministry of Paul. In Galatians one Paul defends his knowledge and revelation as coming from Christ alone while in the desert of Arabia. Whether that was 40 days, 40 weeks, or a full three years, it was significant alone time to hear from God.

OK. How about you? How about me? Are we men or women of God? How so? Is it because you love to study and teach? Are you a great preacher? Are you an active elder or woman's leader? Do you have some miraculous gift? What marks you as a man or woman of God? According to the Scriptures it can be nothing but your time alone with God. You don't become a man of God by thinking about God. You become a man or woman of God by spending lavish amounts of time alone with your Heavenly Father. It is God's way of branding us with the image of His person deep in the silent recesses of our hearts.

AW Tozer said it well, "You cannot be a man of God if you spend all your time with people." Prayer Today exists to help you find strategies to make prayer an enjoyable lifelong journey into the heart of God. Join us online to discover new disciplines of prayer.

Dick LaFountain
Prayer Coach

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thinking About Prayer

I have been thinking about prayer. Being a pastor, a prayer coach, host to a web site on prayer, and prayer retreat leader, and a speaker on the subject of prayer I ought to know a lot about prayer. There is a danger though to thinking about prayer. Thinking about prayer, talking about prayer, writing about prayer can become a substitute for prayer. Thinking about prayer is not prayer. Knowing a lot about prayer is not prayer. Reading a lot about prayer is not prayer. Talking about prayer is not prayer.

Prayer is praying, talking to God, nothing less and nothing more.

My Prayer Today:

"Lord, help me not savor truths about prayer more than I savor time with you. You are my focus, not prayer. You are my longing desire, not to be being published, popular, or clever. I want my thought to be about you, not just about prayer. Teach me to pray as Jesus prayed. This I ask in the Name above every name. Make it so Jesus! Amen"