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JESUS WENT: To Pray

Words of Life / Salvation Army
The Truth Network Radio
March 21, 2021 1:56 am

JESUS WENT: To Pray

Words of Life / Salvation Army

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March 21, 2021 1:56 am

In this episode, Luis discusses the moments we see in scripture where Jesus went off, by Himself to pray. Can you relate to the desire to connect with your Heavenly Father in nature?

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Hi, this is Bernie Dake.

Welcome to the Salvation Army's Words of Life. Welcome back to Words of Life. I'm Cheryl Gillum, and I'm here with my special guest co-host for this series, Tim Gillum. Hi, Tim.

Hi, Cheryl. It's great to be back. It's been a great series so far, hasn't it?

It has, and it's been great having you with us. It's hard to believe that we're already in the middle of this Easter series with Major Luis Melendez. I know I have, and I think our listeners have really enjoyed having him. He's such a great teacher, and I expect that we will all be hearing more from him in the near future.

I think so, too. And you know, this week he'll be studying moments in Scripture when we see Jesus praying alone. I've just recently, in my own studies, went over Mark 1, and it talks about Jesus going away early in the morning off to a quiet place outside. This speaks to my heart because it's like in nature, I definitely find that quiet spot, much more so than I do even if I find a quiet spot in my house, right, in our house. I find that I really connect with God in a special way. How about you?

Well, Cheryl, you know me better than anyone else, and in our almost 28 years of marriage, you know how much I love to be out in nature. That's where I connect with our Heavenly Father, and you can see his handiwork everywhere. But it's also good for us to break away from the craziness of the world, the noise of television and radio and even other people's voices, so that we can connect one-on-one with the Lord. So I look forward to what Luis is going to say today. This cross of shame is on our hope, the fountain open, dead. His side shall forge our deepest place, till not a spot remains. Hope, love of God, of sin, of man and death straddled. His strength is tried, and victory sealed with love, for He alone is crucified. Broken in a contrite heart to none who ask will be denied. Each broken heart will be a temple of the crucified.

In this Easter series, we are presenting strategically some of the places that Jesus went, and we question ourselves, is the Salvation Army doing the same? Today, I want to start by reading a verse from each one of the Gospel writers. In doing so, we see that Jesus went to pray. Matthew 14 23. And when he had sent the crowds away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray.

And when evening had come, he was there alone. Mark 1 35. Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place where he prayed. Luke 5 15 and 16.

But the word about him spread even more, and great crowds were coming to hear and to be healed from their infirmities by him. But he was drawing back into the wilderness and prayed. John 18, verse one and two. Having spoken these words, Jesus went out with his disciples over the winter stream Kidron, where there was a garden. He and his disciples entered into it, and Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place, for Jesus oftentimes went there with his disciples to pray. Did you know that the only places that the Bible have recorded of Jesus praying for an extended period of time are all outside? When Jesus prayed by himself, he seemed to prefer the outdoors rather than the indoors. The places that the Bible mentions that Jesus went to pray are the Garden of Gethsemane, which was one of his favorite places to pray.

A mountain, the wilderness and a solitary, deserted place. Of course, Jesus also prayed indoors many times for sure. Why did Jesus prefer to pray outside? One reason is that it feels closer to God by being surrounded by God's creation and God's glory.

Another reason could be that it's easier to be alone, being outside and not having any interruptions from other people. Another reason is that you can shout and cry out to God in the middle of the wilderness or on top of a mountain and nobody can hear you but God. So Jesus continually withdrew from people, daily life activities and the demands of his ministries to be alone with the Father and pray. Jesus's ongoing intimate relationship with his Father was the source of his compassion, wisdom and power that we see on every page of the Gospels. It's how he began his ministry. It's how he made important decisions. It's how he provided for the needs of others.

It's how he dealt with troubling emotions like grief. It's how he dealt with the constant demands of his ministry and care for his own soul. It's how he taught his disciple. It's how he prepared for important ministry events.

It's how he performed miracles. It's even how he prepared for his own death on the cross by setting a place and time apart to pray. Why did Jesus pray? This is sometimes puzzling for many Christians. After all, if Jesus is God, why did Christ need to pray?

Theologically speaking, there are a lot of reasons. Well, at least three reasons that Jesus prayed. First, Jesus prayed as an example to his followers. That's us.

This is an example we continue to learn from. Second, the incarnation consists of both divine and human natures. From his human nature, it was perfectly natural for Jesus to pray. Third, the nature of the Trinity is set up that way.

It allows for the communication between its members as God, the Son, Jesus, would pray to God, the Father. Now, because we are in the let days leading to Easter, an appropriate scripture to focus on is the fact that Jesus went to pray as found in the Gospel of Matthew chapter twenty six, verse thirty six. Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to them, sit here while I go over there and pray.

He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him. He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, my soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.

Stay here and keep watch with me. Going a little farther, he fell on his face to the ground and prayed. My father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me yet not as I will, but as you will. Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping.

Couldn't you men keep watch with me for an hour? He asked Peter. And we end with verse forty one. Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak. So as an account of the scripture passage, Jesus went to pray, took his disciples with him to pray. Jesus prayed in agony as his betrayal and death was near. Jesus prayed for God's will to be done. Jesus found the disciples sleeping because they could not keep watch and pray for them at least one hour. Wow, there is so much that we can say about prayer.

Yet I want to be clear about one thing. Jesus, the son of God, our Lord, went to pray. If Jesus prayed, then definitely we should go and pray just like Jesus did. Repeat the Lord's prayer. Practice daily prayer. Pray without ceasing. Pray scripture.

Exercise prayer walking. We need prayer. We can talk about prayer. We can study prayer. We can say our prayers. We can ask like the disciples did. Jesus, teach us to pray. The Bible records in many places in a matter of fact, in a variety of places where prayer with God took place at home in the temple, the place Jesus called the house of prayer, maybe outside practice in the discipline of solitude in a prayer meeting.

And the list can go on and on without no end. Dr. Charles Stanley once said, and I quote, we can be tired, weary, and emotionally distraught but after spending time along with God in prayer, we find that he injects into our bodies energy, power, and strength. End of quote. So the question is, have you gone to the Lord our God to pray? I am reminded of the words of verses one and two of one of our Salvation Army songbooks prayer songs. What a friend we have in Jesus. All our sins and griefs to bear. What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer. Oh, what peace we often forfeit. Oh, what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer. You know what?

I feel like singing. Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere? We should never be discouraged. Take it to the Lord and pray.

Can we find a friend so faithful? Who will all our sorrows share? Jesus knows our every weakness.

Take it to the Lord in prayer. I want to end with a benediction from the New Living Translation found in Ephesians chapter 3 verse 20 and encourage you, even after hearing this episode, to just go like Jesus did and pray. Now all glory to God who is able through his mighty power at work within us accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.

Remember if Jesus went to pray, so should we. The Salvation Army's mission, Doing the Most Good, means helping people with material and spiritual needs. You become a part of this mission every time you give to the Salvation Army. Visit salvationarmyusa.org to offer your support and we'd love to hear from you. Email us at radio at uss.salvationarmy.org. Call 1-800-229-9965 or write us at P.O.

Box 29972 Atlanta, Georgia 30359. Tell us how we can help. Share prayer requests or share your testimony. We would love to use your story on the air. You can also subscribe to our show on iTunes or your favorite podcast store and be sure to give us a rating. Just search for The Salvation Army's Words of Life. Follow us on social media for the latest episodes, extended interviews and more. And if you don't have a church home, we invite you to visit your local Salvation Army worship center. They'll be glad to see you. This is Bernie Dake inviting you to join us next time for The Salvation Army's Words of Life.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-13 11:28:07 / 2023-12-13 11:32:45 / 5

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