“Have you ever thought about prayer in its full context?”
Since the beginning when God created Adam and Eve, He has been talking to us. His desire is to communicate with us, and it is through prayer that we do so. Prayer brings us into an intimate closeness where we are in powerful communion with Jesus. As Christians, it is necessary to have a prayer life that resolves any problem. The solution to any issue is always Jesus and what His will is for each one of us.
Without a relationship with the Lord, how would we find our way through this life? When we lay down our own agendas and pick up Jesus’, we are bringing death to ourselves. We are being obedient, and through that obedience we are connecting with the heart and will of our Lord. We begin to put away our ways and thoughts by submitting to the Father’s will. In Luke 9:23-24 (NKJV) Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will save it.”
Jesus prayed to remain in the Father’s will.
We must also.
Jesus prayed to remain in the Father’s will, and we must also. It is where we prepare ourselves for the battles we face in our lives. The more you know, the better prepared you are. When you are equipped with wisdom and the Spirit of the Lord you are able to make wise decisions, have discernment, and explain the ways of Jesus. Prayer has made this possible as it becomes our direct line to Jesus and the Father. Prayer builds strength in us and shows us how to war against the enemy. We become overcomers and conquer in Christ. Romans 8:37 (NKJV) states, “Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
Jesus spent time alone with the Father and so must we. If we do not spend time with the Father, we cannot claim to have a relationship with Him. Jesus was always seeking the Father’s will. He promoted the kingdom of God, and He wants us to do the same.
Mark 1:35 (NKJV) says, “Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there he prayed.” Jesus spent time alone with the Father. He was always seeking the Father’s will and promoting the kingdom of God. If we do not understand what we are praying for and how to bring that prayer to the Father, we are missing out. Prayer is not just folding our hands, closing our eyes, and bowing our heads asking God to answer us pertaining to our lives, families, homes, and jobs etc. We are praying with a condition, a prerequisite. We should be praying as we “ought.”
Early church father Origen says this about prayer: “The ‘what we ought,’ consists of the words of prayer, while the ‘as we ought’ refers to the disposition of the person praying.”
The ‘what we ought,’ consists of the words of prayer, while the ‘as we ought’ refers to the disposition of the person praying.
Origen of Alexandria, c. 184 – c.253
Bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. Luke 6:28 NKJV
Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Matt 26:41 NKJV
And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Matt 6:7 NKJV
These are examples of the “what we ought.” These words were spoken out of the mouth of Jesus. He is our model, and this is the pattern of prayer set by Him for us to follow.
Jesus is our model. He set the pattern of prayer.
Origen goes on to say that when we pray “as we ought,” we have to be mindful of our intent and state of mind as these can influence the way that we pray. Do not bring a blemished sacrifice before the Lord because you are the temple of the Lord. 1 Cor 6:19, “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own.”
Jesus is about restoration. He wants intimacy with each one of us so that we can come into the fullness of what He created us to be in Him. His desire is to be one with us, and by opening the door through our prayers, we have entered into that relationship with him. We have started a journey with Him… one step at a time!