For God to reveal a new understanding of our call to prayer.
And he (Jesus) withdrew himself into the wilderness, and prayed. – Luke 9: 1-2
Today’s prayer focus is to receive a revelation about the power and call to prayer.
Oh how I wish I would have had this revelation earlier in life. To comprehend that the building blocks of heaven are firmly planted on the breath of prayer would have saved me from much anxiousness, worry, and fear. Luckily for all who call on the name of Jesus, we are the chosen ones of a God who knows us better than we know ourselves and will patiently pursue us until we “get it!” What love.
A couple years back, A good friend of mine Eric Welch took his son on a mission trip to Tanzania. While walking down the road with an elder of a remote village, Eric asked him, “Have you ever been to America?” The man replied, “Oh yes, I have been to New York.” Eric continued, “How did you like it?” The elder remarked, “It was such a wonderful place to visit, but I would never want to live there.” Understanding the hustle and bustle of New York City, Eric asked, “Too busy for you?” With great resolve in his voice, the elder concluded, “No, too much abundance, it would be to easy for me to forget my God.”
Since the day I heard this story, it often returns to my memory in times when I just feel overwhelmed in life. I think the Lord brings it back to my memory to humble me, remind me of how easy it is for me to do things on my own, rely on my own capabilities, and limit God to the box of my own thinking. It is in these moments that I realize that I need fresh grace to embed deep within my heart what it means when Jesus says, “apart from me you can do nothing.”
Gratefully however, the Lord in his great mercy has matured me in the last several years with revelation that prayer is not just an emergency signal but a gift of relationship with the Father. I love how another missionary put it, “Prayer should never be understood primarily in terms of power, but rather as relating to a God who is the source of all power.”
I am always amazed at the amount of times the Scriptures speak of Jesus withdrawing to the wilderness to relate with his Father. In my small mind, I think, “Well Jesus is God, doesn’t he just get continual download. What’s the need to withdraw to the wilderness all about?” It is then that I am utterly broken by the thought that for Jesus, it was never a have to, but a want to. May our affection for our God be as great as Jesus, that through prayer we may have the intimacy, understanding, and power to accomplish all the Lord has purposed for our lives.
Heavenly Father, we sit here in awe today of the relationship you had with your son Jesus in prayer. We desire to live a life fully reliant on your presence and power. Radically transform our hearts and minds today to understand the depth of privilege we have in prayer. Birth a hunger in us to harness all you have provided for us when we ask, seek and knock. Convict us to a life dedicated to abiding in you that we will bear great fruit. Amen.