“Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful” – Col 4: 2 (NIV)
One of the aspects that characterized the ministry of Jesus on earth was devotion to prayer. He began his public ministry be praying. Luke 3:21-24 says, “When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”
Normally at the start of the day Jesus would begin in prayer. “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed” (Mark 1:35). Often times in his work he would withdraw from the crowds and take time to refresh his soul by praying. “After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone” (Mathew 14:23).
As he was reaching the end of his ministry knowing what was ahead, he took time pray. “Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” (Mathew 26: 36). Jesus last utterance before his death was prayer. “Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots” (Luke 23:34). Finally, “Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last” (Luke 23:46)
Though he was the son of God, Jesus did not discount the importance of prayer in his work. Very often any of us could be so taken up by the tasks at hand that we disregard prayer in our lives. At times there is that assumption that God already knows and why the bother. Sometimes we might have lost steam for prayer due to certain discouragement. Yet in the life of Jesus we see that prayer was at the center of his work, which should be an encouragement for us to devote ourselves to prayer.
Prayer for today: Lord Father God of creation, in the life of Jesus we see his devotion to prayer; help me equally devote as much attention and time to pray, for there is the power to be effective as Jesus was.