Looking for True Spirituality 6 Spirituality and Prayer

Spirituality and Prayer

File:Jan Luyken's Jesus 25. Christ Prays in the Garden. Phillip Medhurst Collection.jpg

A an etching by Jan Luyken from the Phillip Medhurst Collection of Bible illustrations housed at Belgrave Hall, Leicester, England (The Kevin Victor Freestone Bequest). Photo by Philip De Vere.

The Gospel accounts show that Jesus often turned to God in prayer.

35 Early in the morning, while it was still dark, he got up and went outside and left for an isolated place, and there he began praying.+ (Mark 1:35)

23 After sending the crowds away, he went up on the mountain by himself to pray.+ When evening came, he was there alone. (Matthew 14:23)

16 However, he often went into the desolate areas to pray. (Luke 5:16)

During his life on earth,* Christ offered up supplications and also petitions, with strong outcries and tears,+ to the One who was able to save him out of death, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. (Hebrews 5:7)

32 So they came to a spot named Geth·sem′a·ne, and he said to his disciples: “Sit down here while I pray.”+ (Mark 14:32)

41 And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw away, and he bent his knees and began to pray, 42 saying: “Father, if you want to, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, let, not my will, but yours take place.”+(Luke 22:41-42)

Jesus did not want his will to become accomplished, but wanted that his Father His Wish would become true. Jesus was afraid and suffered but he put himself at the site. He knew that he could not do a single thing without his Father in heaven, who is the Only One God. It was more important that the Will of the Only One God Who is One, would become accomplished, even when it would cost Jesus his life. Without God Jesus was nothing like we are nothing without our heavenly Father.

30 I cannot do a single thing of my own initiative. Just as I hear, I judge, and my judgment is righteous+ because I seek, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.+ (John 5:30)

34 Jesus said to them: “My food is to do the will of him who sent me+ and to finish his work.+ (John 4:34)

38 for I have come down from heaven+ to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.+ (John 6:38)

39 And going a little way forward, he fell facedown, praying:+ “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup+ pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”+ (Matthew 26:39)

36 And he said: “Abba,* Father,+ all things are possible for you; remove this cup from me. Yet, not what I want, but what you want.”+ (Mark 14:36)

Jesus was placed by his Father in the womb of his mother, and as such came from the Father above, from heaven. But he was not created to do his own will but to do the will of his Father.

38 for I have come down from heaven+ to do, not my own will, but the will of him who sent me.+ (John 6:38)

During his ministry on earth, Jesus deliberately set aside time to pray. The disciple Matthew wrote:

“Having sent the crowds away, [Jesus] went up into the mountain by himself to pray.” (Matthew 14:23)

File:Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib - Jesus Prays in Gethsemane - Walters W59274A - Full Page.jpg

Jesus Prays in Gethsemane – 1684, Ilyas Basim Khuri Bazzi Rahib

From such moments spent in quiet communication with his heavenly Father, Jesus gained strength.

36 Then Jesus came with them to the spot called Geth·sem′a·ne,+ and he said to the disciples: “Sit down here while I go over there and pray.”+ 37 And taking along Peter and the two sons of Zeb′e·dee, he began to feel grieved and to be greatly troubled.+ 38 Then he said to them: “I am* deeply grieved, even to death. Stay here and keep on the watch with me.”+ 39 And going a little way forward, he fell facedown, praying:+ “My Father, if it is possible, let this cup+ pass away from me. Yet, not as I will, but as you will.”+

40 He returned to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter: “Could you not so much as keep on the watch for one hour with me?+41 Keep on the watch+ and pray continually,+ so that you may not enter into temptation.+ The spirit, of course, is eager,* but the flesh is weak.”+42 Again, a second time, he went off and prayed: “My Father, if it is not possible for this to pass away unless I drink it, let your will take place.”+43 And he came again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. 44 So leaving them, he again went off and prayed for a third time, saying once more the same thing. (Matthew 26:36-44)

Today, spiritually-minded people likewise look for opportunities to communicate with God, knowing that this will strengthen their relationship with the Creator and help them to become more Christlike in their thinking.

Jesus often spent extended periods of time in prayer. (John 17:1-26) For instance, before he chose the 12 men who would become his apostles, Jesus “went out into the mountain to pray, and he continued the whole night in prayer to God.” (Luke 6:12) Although not necessarily spending the whole night in prayer, those who are spiritually-minded follow Jesus’ example. Before making major decisions in life, they take ample time to pray to God, seeking the direction of the holy spirit in making choices that will deepen their spirituality.

In his prayers, Jesus also showed the depth of feeling that we ought to imitate in our prayers. Note what Luke recorded about the way Jesus prayed on the evening before he died.

“Getting into an agony he continued praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground.” (Luke 22:44)

Jesus had prayed earnestly before, but on this occasion, faced with the most severe test of his earthly life, he prayed “more earnestly”—and his prayer was answered.

During his life on earth,* Christ offered up supplications and also petitions, with strong outcries and tears,+ to the One who was able to save him out of death, and he was favorably heard for his godly fear. (Hebrews 5:7)

Spiritually-minded people follow Jesus’ example. When faced with trials that are particularly severe, they pray “more earnestly” to God for holy spirit, guidance, and support.

Since Jesus was clearly a man of prayer, it is not surprising that his disciples wanted to imitate him in this regard. Therefore, they asked him:

“Lord, teach us how to pray.” (Luke 11:1)

Similarly today, those who value spiritual matters and want to be guided by God’s holy spirit follow Jesus’ example in how they pray to God. True spirituality and prayer go hand in hand.

+

Preceding articles:

Looking for True Spirituality 1 Intro

Looking for True Spirituality 2 Not restricted to an elite

Looking for True Spirituality 3 Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 4 Getting to Know the Mind of Christ

Looking for True Spirituality 5 Fruitage of the Spirit

Fruits of the spirit will prevent you from being either inactive or unfruitful

Next: Looking for True Spirituality 7 Preaching of the Good News

Dutch version of this article / De Nederlandse versie van dit artikel:

Op zoek naar spiritualiteit 6 Spiritualiteit en gebed

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Additional reading:

  1. Wishing to do the will of God
  2. For the Will of Him who is greater than Jesus
  3. Our relationship with God, Jesus and each other
  4. Observing the commandments and becoming doers of the Word
  5. Golden rule for understanding in spiritual matters obedience
  6. Happy who’s delight is only in the law of Jehovah
  7. Rest thy delight on Jehovah
  8. Genuine prayer
  9. He who kneels before God can stand before anyone!
  10. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  11. Being sure of their deliverance
  12. People who know how to pray to move God to take hold of our affairs in a mighty way
  13. 7000 to 20000 words spoken each day
  14. Walking alone?
  15. Listening and Praying to the Father
  16. Prayer, important aspect in our life
  17. Worship and worshipping
  18. Genuine prayer
  19. Praise and give thanks to God the Most Highest
  20. Praise the God with His Name
  21. Trusting, Faith, calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #3 Voice of God #5 To meditate and Transform
  22. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #1 Listening Sovereign Maker
  23. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #2 Witnessing
  24. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #5 Prayer #3 Callers upon God
  25. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #6 Prayer #4 Attitude
  26. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #7 Prayer #5 Listening Ear
  27. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #8 Prayer #6 Communication and manifestation
  28. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #9 Prayer #7 Reason to pray
  29. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #10 Prayer #8 Condition
  30. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #11 Prayer #9 Making the Name Holy
  31. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #12 Prayer #10 Talk to A Friend
  32. Trusting, Faith, Calling and Ascribing to Jehovah #13 Prayer #11 Name to be set apart
  33. Does God hear prayer?
  34. Does God answer prayer?

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  • Honesty in prayer (Pinocchio had an advantage) (lifeonthefrontporch.wordpress.com)
    I can tell lies and get away with it or not even know it. In the same way I can pray with great sincerity but not be honest with God.
    +
    Other times in prayer, I limit God because I only believe half the truth. It’s time to become fully honest, and become more effective in my prayer
  • Morning Prayer 12.28.13: The Holy Innocents (dailyoffice.org)
    Lord, make us instruments of your peace. Where there is hatred, let us sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; where there is sadness, joy. Grant that we may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen.
  • June 17 – My God Still Answers Prayers (phidevotion.wordpress.com)
    Every event that happens in the scripture was because of intensive prayer. Prayer is one of the most important avenues to experience spirituality. When you pray carnality dies. Our answers are tied to bearing fruits. God cares for every fruitful believer. Love God and prove the sincerity of your love by doing what He commands. Through Him we both have access by one Spirit the Father (Eph. 2:18), those who come to God encounter no “KEEP OUT” signs.
  • Bible Study on Importunate Prayer (christianresourceministry.com)
    Jesus says that if an unjust judge gives in because of persistence how much more so will God bring about justice for us, especially for those who persist day and night.
    +
    Christ is praying in the garden so fervently that His sweat was like drops of blood. This is a wrestle of strength to believe by faith. This is not a prayer life that only half believes, but one that consumes the will and emotions.
  • Day 2 – The Unimaginable (believe2day.com)
    God has already deposited the necessary power within you for God-sized dreams, it simply needs to be released.
    +
    But, in order for the unimaginable to manifest, we need to let God erase the negative affects of our past in order to release brand new realities into our future.  The past must be forgiven and left behind in order to make room for tomorrow’s dreams.
  • Luke 22 (zachscripturestudy.com)
    Jesus finishes praying and finds His Apostles sleeping, when they were supposed to keep lookout. Jesus tells them that they will need to pray,
  • “555 Days of Prayer to Save America” Planners Say “We Seek a God-Fearing Nation and World” (prweb.com)
    “We have a society that is ruled by a shadow power. It pits rich against poor, women against men, young against old, races against each other, different sexual preferences against each other. Wow, we sure are against each other, and we haven’t been united, truly, since the terror attacks of 911,” said Berry.

    “I believe that the power keeps us undereducated and misinformed, for the sake of control. That power has set itself up against God, Almighty, for the sake of unrestrained power itself.

  • No More Time to Pray (phenum01.com)
    We must study all the teachings and examples of the Lord. In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus was facing the most difficult experience of His walk on planet Earth. He prayed passionately, entreating the heavenly Father three times to change the circumstances that were before Him. Not six. Not twelve. Three (Matthew 26:36-46).
  • Prayer – Wisdom protects the promise (afruitinseason.wordpress.com)
    God is generous and loving, wanting to shower you with intelligent blessings. Once the wisdom is in place we are safe to receive the measure of “Shalom” appropriate for our growth and personal situation. Wisdom adds, like sonship, the necessary component of discipleship. The promise says “Yes.”
  • On the Rosary and the Queen of Heaven as the spirit over Catholicism (examiner.com)
    The Rosary is repetitive and so causes a “trance-like state” but one whereby a person is not better suited for prayer or Biblical “meditation” (which is contemplating YHVH and His word) but New Age, mystical meditation which is emptying one’s mind, one’s self so that someone or, rather, something else can take over.
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