From Pastor Zach Zehnder
Think about this. If there was ever someone who didn't need God's direction, you'd think it would be Jesus. It is a great paradox, but we believe that Jesus was fully human and also fully God at the same time. And yet, still, we see Jesus praying early and praying often.
As we continue to learn about prayer, we ought to examine how Jesus prayed. Remember, He was the only person to exist in a perfect relationship with God, so we should learn from Him.
When you read through the 4 Gospels, you would find nearly 50 times that Jesus either practiced prayer or taught about the importance of prayer. For example, Jesus is shown praying alone, praying in public, praying early in the morning, praying in the evening, praying before meals, praying before essential decisions, and praying before and after healings.
You get the sense that He communicated with God the Father and the Holy Spirit everywhere He went. By looking at His example, we see that Jesus made prayer a priority at all times and in all circumstances.
The word "priority" has a surprising history in our English language. According to Greg McKeown in his book Essentialism, "The word priority came into the English language in the 1400s. It was singular. It meant the very first or prior thing."
We pluralized this term somewhere along the line and thought we could have multiple priorities simultaneously. But, really, having many things as a top priority actually means that nothing is.
Prayer was a priority for Jesus. Is it for you?
Let me ask a challenging question: Take a look back at the last week of your life before you started the 21 Day Prayer Challenge. If God answered every one of your prayer requests, what would be different in the world today?
Sadly, if I answered the question for myself, there would be some weeks when the world wouldn't look all that different. If my prayers were answered in the way that I asked them to be, here's how the world would be different: my sermon would be creative and powerful, new people would have come to church, the Cleveland Browns would have won their game, my kids would have done well at school, my wife would have had a great week, a couple of people would have gotten new jobs, and a few healings would have happened. Still, nothing crazy in the world would have happened most weeks if all my prayers had been answered. That's sad.
How about you?
If you genuinely believe in the power of prayer, you, too, would prioritize it, just like Jesus. But, the great news is that no matter how failed your prayer habits have been in the past, you and I have an excellent opportunity to start anew today. In fact, we can pray to God right here, right now, and not only thank Him for His grace but ask God for wisdom to help us in this area in the future.
Look back to the 10 days before starting the 21 Days of Prayer Challenge. Ask yourself what would be different in the world if God answered "Yes" to all of your prayer requests.
For your pastors and those leading your church
Mark 1:35, Luke 5:16, Luke 6:12, John 17:20-26