HEBREWS 5:7-10: “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God. Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.” NLT
OBSERVATION: Are my prayers being answered? Do I know that I am connecting with the heart of God when I pray? How does my prayer life compare to the prayer life of Jesus?
It may seem unfair to compare our prayer life to that of Jesus. After all, wasn’t He the Son of God? Didn’t He have an advantage over us when it came to answered prayer? Were Jesus’ prayers answered simply because He was God’s Son or was there something more to the power in Jesus’ prayers?
The disciples noticed a difference in their prayer life and that of Jesus’ prayer life. Like the disciples, I feel that many times my prayer life is hit and miss. I can fully relate to the disciples when they gathered around Jesus and said – “Teach us to pray!”
Therein lies the problem with our prayer lives. We are looking for a formula, a method, a hidden key to unlock the power of prayer. Jesus made it very clear that the key to prayer was not in the formula of prayer.
- “When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I tell you the truth, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you. “When you pray, don’t babble on and on as the Gentiles do. They think their prayers are answered merely by repeating their words again and again. Don’t be like them, for your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!” Matthew 6:5-8 NLT
So if the power of Jesus’ prayer life was not in His method or even the words that He spoke – then where did it come from?
It came from RELATIONSHIP – learned through SUFFERING – and displayed in OBEDIENCE!
- “While Jesus was here on earth, he offered prayers and pleadings, with a loud cry and tears, to the one who could rescue him from death. And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.”
Jesus spent time with God the Father. He would go off by Himself and pray. We see the earnest nature of His prayers in the Garden before His crucifixion. He cultivated and developed an intimacy with the Father through prayer. When Jesus humbled Himself and became a man, He separated Himself from His heavenly access and glory and submitted to the limitations that each one of us has. He limited Himself to intimacy with God through prayer!
Hebrews writes – “And God heard his prayers because of his deep reverence for God.” This reverence, this heart of worship, this heart of surrender, was developed in Jesus’ life as He grew in wisdom and stature and the fear of the Lord. His submission to the Father, in His earthly role as the Son of God, is the physical expression of His reverence. It is no doubt that. when Jesus taught the disciples to pray, He began with these words.
- “Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, may your name be kept holy. May your Kingdom come soon. May your will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.” Matthew 6:9-10 NLT
Where did Jesus learn to reverence God the Father? Where did Jesus learn to always put the Kingdom of God first in everything He did? The writer of Hebrews gives us the answer once again.
- “Even though Jesus was God’s Son, he learned obedience from the things he suffered. In this way, God qualified him as a perfect High Priest, and he became the source of eternal salvation for all those who obey him. And God designated him to be a High Priest in the order of Melchizedek.”
Jesus learned obedience and grew in the fear of the Lord from the things that He suffered. It was the pathway of humility and suffering that enabled Jesus to walk in intimacy with the Father. Jesus’ obedience in this process was the highest expression of worship that He could give. As Jesus obeyed, as He prayed, as He grew in intimacy with the Father – the Father was preparing and qualifying Him to be our perfect High Priest.
I think we pass over the humanity of Jesus and miss this important point.
- Jesus learned obedience.
- Jesus learned reverence.
- Jesus learned how to pray.
Yes, Jesus was God in human flesh, but He also was a man and willfully submitted Himself to the same process of life and learning that we all have access to. He worked miracles through the power of the Holy Spirit and prayer, not by His divine prerogatives. And, here is a wonderful truth.
IF JESUS LEARNED HOW TO WALK IN THE POWER OF PRAYER – WE CAN TOO!
Albeit, our batting average at the altar of prayer will never be that of Jesus. Jesus, although fully man, was born without sin. He battled temptation but never sinned. His heart was fully tuned and open to the voice of the Father. He walked in perfect harmony with the Holy Spirit. We struggle with these things. Yet, – we can grow in them! We can learn obedience through our suffering. We can learn reverence through our times of pouring out our hearts to the Father. And, we can experience the power of answered prayer as we align our prayers to the will of God!
Recently, while in the hospital, my blood levels dropped dangerously low. I received 6 units of blood and I was put on iron supplements to build up my blood counts. At first, I was very weak during my recovery. Yet, as I kept taking the iron, as I rested, I began to gain strength. I was not destined to live with anemia and I am not destined to live with a weak and powerless prayer life! I have the Holy Spirit. I have the Word of God, And, I have the opportunity, through my suffering, to respond with obedience to the Father!
I CAN GROW IN THE POWER OF ANSWERED PRAYER AS I GROW IN INTIMACY WITH THE FATHER AND HIS KINGDOM PURPOSES!
Lord, this morning I want to surrender my heart anew to Your will for my life. I want to purpose my heart to pray for Your Kingdom to come, on earth (and in my life), as it is in heaven. I ask you for grace to respond to the times of suffering with the sacrifice of worship through obedience. Teach me how to live in intimacy with You. Teach me how to walk and pray as Jesus did!
In Jesus Name!