ARTICLE : The Fundamentals of a Christain Prayer (Luke 11) { 2 } | 9JAGOSPELBLOG ll Africa's No. 1 Gospel Music Platform ARTICLE : The Fundamentals of a Christain Prayer (Luke 11) { 2 } - 9JAGOSPELBLOG ll Africa's No. 1 Gospel Music Platform

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    ARTICLE : The Fundamentals of a Christain Prayer (Luke 11) { 2 }

    CHRIST’S ATTITUDE IN PRAYER

    This incorporates one of the basic principles that governed the life of the Savior. In John 5:19 Christ said, “the Son can do nothing of Himself.” Then, in John 8:28-29 and 14:10 He repeated the principle. The principle should be obvious for us. For Jesus Christ, prayer was a way of life, an absolute necessity: it was a means of communion with the Father and the means of bringing the power of God the Father to bear on the humanity of Jesus Christ moment by moment. We see this in Matthew 12:18 and 28.

    Note that for the most part, it appears the Lord performed His works and spoke His words by the power of God the Father through the power of the Holy Spirit whom the Father had given Him. Though God of very God Himself, Jesus generally did not perform His works independently of the Father nor the Spirit’s leading ( Acts 2:22). It was the Father working through Jesus, the man.

    As we study the life of Christ in the gospels, we note a consistent pattern:

    (1) In the midst of a busy schedule, when men were clamoring in their need for His attention, Christ retired to pray and to draw upon the resources of God the Father for He knew that “the Son can do nothing of Himself” ( Mark 1:32-37).

    (2) When it was time to choose the disciples we don't find Christ reviewing the qualifications of each of the disciples. Rather we find Him retiring to pray. This is clear in Mark 3:13 and Luke 6:12-13. Why? Because “the Son can do nothing of Himself.” He needed the direction and provision of the Father.

    (3) When Jesus stood at the tomb of Lazarus He raised His eyes heavenward in dependence and thanksgiving for what the Father was about to do ( John 11:40-42). The actual prayer of Christ is not given, only the fact of His dependence, thanksgiving, and confidence that His prayer had been heard. The words of verses 41 and 42 imply, however, that not only did He pray to the Father, but that He wanted all those standing around to know it as well that they might learn the secret of dependence. This teaches us that when performing miracles, though not always heard by men, Jesus the man was praying in dependence upon the Father from the standpoint of His humanity.

    (4) When He fed the five thousand. The words “and looking up toward heaven” demonstrate the Lord’s prayerful dependence ( Mark 6:41). Also, “He blessed the food” which shows He thanked God the Father for it and for what He, the Father, was about to do through Jesus, the man, a God-dependent, God- approved man.

    Think of Jesus Christ. He was the Son of God, God incarnate, the perfect man and the absolute Creator God who also as the God-man adequately and continuously fulfilled every expectation of God for man. He was the constant delight and joy of the Father’s heart. He always pleased the Father. Now, thinking of Him as such, ask yourself this question. How much did He personally, as man, contribute to His mighty works, deeds, and ministry? NOTHING! Christ Himself gives us the answer, “. . . the father abiding in me does His works” ( John 14:10). And how did that come about? Through prayerful dependence on the Father!

    When we work, we work. When we pray, the Father works. So out of this conscious and constant sense of need, there arose a continuing attitude of prayer: a continual expectation in the Lord Jesus that if anything was to be done, the Father must do it both by way of initiative, and wisdom, and power. Now if this was true of Jesus Christ, how much more shouldn’t this also be true for us? Indeed, prayer according to the pattern of the Lord Jesus is to be a vital goal of true disciples.

    The disciples saw in Christ’s life, not only prayer, but a prayer life which demonstrated a dependency upon and intimacy with the Father unlike anything else they had ever seen and they wanted to know the secret of this.

    What was the request posed by the unnamed disciple? It was, “teach us to pray.” Not just how to pray, the MECHANICS, but how in the sense of the MOTIVATION. The how aspect is included by Christ in His answer in Luke 11:2-13.

    (1) Prayer should demonstrate a total consciousness of our need, a sense of our complete inadequacy along with a sense of God’s complete adequacy and willingness.

    2 Corinthians 2:16 to the one an aroma from death to death, to the other an aroma from life to life. And who is adequate for these things?
    2 Corinthians 3:5 Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God,
    (2) Prayer is not overcoming God’s reluctance, but laying hold of God’s ever present willingness.

    (3) Prayer is not for emergency use only, when we get in a pinch and need someone to bail us out.

    (4) Prayer is not an “Aladdin’s Lamp” or a trip to the wishing well for our wants.

    (5) By contrast, prayer is a means of intimate communion, fellowship, and dependence upon God the Father who has promised to work in and through us through His Son, just as God worked through Him.

    (6) Prayer is for everyday living, moment by moment.

    (7) Prayer is a means of claiming God’s promises and knowing and becoming abandoned to God’s will.

    In John 14:10-14, note the relationship to prayer mentioned in verses 13-14 and the works we, as disciples, are to do in verse 12.

    John 14:10-14 “Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on My own initiative, but the Father abiding in Me does His works. 11 “Believe Me that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; otherwise believe on account of the works themselves. 12 “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father. 13 “And whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. 14 “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.

    There is no activity in the life of a believer which does not require a prayerful attitude—a prayerful dependence on and an expectation that God is at work and will work according to His purposes and leading. In ourselves we can do nothing. Christianity is living by faith in the Creator God who dwells in us, and prayer is God’s means for us to draw upon Christ’s miraculous life. Christianity is as Paul expressed it in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and delivered Himself up for me.” Faith for a committed believer is expressed in intimate, prayerful living.

    In practical terms what exactly does this means?

    ¤The phone call we are about to make, we can’t really handle, at least not in Christ’s power and life, apart from prayer.
    ¤The lesson we are preparing to teach, we can’t do effectively without prayerful dependence.
    ¤It means that while we usually recognize our need of God’s enablement in things like witnessing, we nevertheless tend to take God for granted and operate in our own abilities in other areas because we think something doesn’t seem too difficult or it is within our area expertise.

    As an illustration let’s look at the miraculous catch of fish in Luke 5:5-11. What was Peter thinking in this passage? Probably something like, “Lord, you’re a great teacher, you’re the Son of God and Messiah, but we can handle this ourselves; we are expert fishermen. We have been fishing these waters for years. Besides, Lord, we fished these waters all night and we know the fish are simply not biting now.” But you see, biblical Christianity is living by faith and prayerful dependence upon God and under the power and authority of the Lord Jesus Christ regardless of how things appear to us.

    Biblical Christianity is never a matter of living by who and what we are—our insight, our background, our experience, our training, our giftedness, etc. Rather it is a matter of living by faith in God’s Word, biblical insight, and by faith in Jesus Christ, the Creator God and His availability to work through us as we are available and submissive to Him. But such only happens when we live by intimate prayerful dependence upon the Father through a life of prayer, a life of praying without ceasing, and a life devoted to special times of prayer alone with the Father and His Son in the power of the Spirit.

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