“That evening after sunset the people brought to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. The whole town gathered at the door, and Jesus healed many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons, but he would not let the demons speak because they knew who he was. 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” (Mark 1:32-35, NIV).
It is not only once that Jesus is giving us an example how and what for to pray. In the gospel according to Mark (as well as in Luke 4:42) Jesus’ prayer is an example for us when to pray. This is perhaps one of the most difficult examples to follow today. But before you continue on reading about it, turn your attention to what happens before Jesus goes to pray in the morning. Throughout the whole evening before that he is surrounded by people who are sick and demon-possessed – and they want healing. And after this, as well as all the other busy days that have passed, Jesus does not try to seek an excuse but gets up before the sun has come out completely and talks to the Father.
For most people today the morning has to do with awakening, followed by quite some stress around the trip to work or school… And yet, in between of all this there’s somehow time for a coffee, a smoke for some, and perhaps a quick and unhealthy snack. But there seems to almost never be enough time for God. Thus, day after day a large number of Christians are overcome by the daily routines, stress and demands without even noticing it. Some new believers manage to find a free slot for God in the mornings, but as they grow older in their faith often things change and prayer becomes just one of the things Christians do. So far for the intimate conversation with God that all of us can remember from their first days in the faith. As we have mentioned not only once in our devotionals, in no case should we think that the longer we’re Christians the less attention we ought to pay to prayer. It never becomes automatic. read more
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21, NIV).
This is the way in which Paul prayed for the brothers and sisters from the church in Ephesus. Today, for some it may be surprising that this prayer does not include, say, a petition for a larger home for the church, more income from offerings and tithe, or even those prayers by name for the ones from the church who are sick or have other urgent material needs. On the other hand, apostle Paul may be well surprised at the prayers we say when lifting up our brothers and sisters before the Lord. What is different about Paul’s prayer? How can we also pray in a similar way, and why is it even important to pray in this way? Read along for more information answering these questions. read more