How are you? How is your week going? How is your prayer life this week?
During this pandemic, we’ve seen certain businesses and organizations be called “essential” and others be deemed “non-essential.”
We might have the same categories in our lives. There are parts of our lives we deem “essential,” and other parts of our lives that we deem as “non-essential.” Where does prayer fall in your life?
If we were put on the spot, we would probably all agree that prayer is in the “essential” category, but do we live by that truth? Is prayer a priority in our lives? Is it essential to the way we think and live? If you’re like me, we may say that it is essential, but we may function as if it is not.
This past Sunday, we looked at the heart of prayer. In the passage, we see that Jesus DEFINITELY deems prayer as “essential.” It is our communication and communion with God. It is how we dwell with Him and bring our raw, broken, and honest hearts before Him. He is the audience of our prayers. We don’t pray for the audience of man, like the Pharisees did in Jesus’ day.
The great Martyn Lloyd Jones said this about the Pharisees: “The trouble with the Pharisees was that they were interested in details rather than principles, that they were interested in actions rather than motives, and that they were interested in doing rather than in being.”
In this era of social media, I think the temptation to be like the Pharisees is stronger than ever. We have more opportunities to share our “lives” with the public more than ever. It’s so easy for us to be interested in the action rather than the motive. It’s so easy for us to be interested in the doing rather than the being. It’s so easy for us to pretend rather than to be true.
Prayer is the opposite of that. It’s not an act. It’s not a performance. It’s not a pitch. It’s not a court case. It’s a relationship. It’s intimacy. It’s love.
Every time we pray, we are encountering the Almighty, Holy God. Every time we pray, we are experiencing the beauties of the gospel. Every time we pray, we are living out our faith and our salvation.
Prayer would not be an option without the gospel. Jesus, the Most High Priest, brings us into the Most Holy Place, God’s presence, through His sacrifice on the cross for our sins. He took on the judgment for us so that we may receive the grace and love of God. He became the enemy of God on the cross so that we who were enemies can now become the children of God. God became His judge on the cross so that God can be our Heavenly Father. Jesus lost all access to the Father on the cross so that we may receive full access to the Father. And Christ is interceding on our behalf today. And the difference between His prayers and our prayers is that His prayers are perfect.
Prayer is not a luxury. It’s a necessity. We need it. God uses it. Jesus has secured it.
Take some time to pray this week. Enjoy God’s presence. Be raw, honest, and broken before Him. Remind yourselves of the beauty of the Father’s love by the access we have to Him through Christ.
I’ll be on Facebook Live tomorrow @5:30pm. Also, we have our last May Topical Study @9:15am on Sunday. Lastly, see you for our online Lord’s Day Worship on Sunday.
Photo Credit: Here