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May 17, 2020

Originally Presented: July 27th, 2008

Scripture Reading: Romans 12:12

There are several references in the gospels to the fact that Jesus spent time in prayer.  Luke 5:16 indicates that as a regular course of action Jesus slipped away from the crowds, which always seemed to be around, to pray.

The account of the feeding of the 5,000 recounts that the day preceding that miracle was filled with activity.  The multitudes had followed Jesus and His disciples and He "began to teach them many things" (Mk 6:24).  He was also "curing those who had need of healing" (Lk 9:11).  After such a busy day, "He departed to the mountain to pray" (Mk 6:46).  It sets an example for us not to allow busyness to crowd out prayer.

Luke 6:12-16 recalls the choosing of the 12 apostles.  Before Jesus made the decision He spent all night in prayer.  It sets an example for us to pray when we are faced with decisions in our lives.

Perhaps the most memorable occasion of Jesus praying is the night before the crucifixion, knowing what would face Him the next day.  He prayed three times in the garden of Gethsemane, the first time for an hour (Mt 26:36-46).  It sets an example for us to pray when we are faced with the many trials of life.

When we stop to think about who Jesus is, the notion that He would feel the need to pray at all is astounding.  He was omnipotent and sinless, enjoying perfect communion with the Father . . . and yet He was compelled to pray.  It is a great encouragement to us to pray.  If Jesus, being God Himself, prayed to His Father as a matter of course and especially at critical times in His life . . . how much more essential is it for us to do the same?