I pray a good bit without ever saying a word. I talk to the Lord all throughout my day when I face various situations and feel an angst in my soul. I believe that this type of prayer is what the apostle Paul is speaking of when he says: “Never stop praying” (1 Thessalonians 5:17 NLT). The Lord hears my heart before a word is ever on my lips. I am learning to pray about EVERYTHING. If things are going well – grateful prayer. If things are not going well – desperate prayer. I heard recently of a good friend going through a deep crisis in their family – desperate prayer on their behalf.
I still remember when I was a young student pastor and gathered in a prayer circle and this guy prayed for the first time. It was refreshing to hear a grown man who “didn’t know” how to pray in public. His opening greeting was “Good evening Lord” and his simple prayer was a conversation as if he was sitting on the front porch having a conversation with the Lord. I realized that even in my public prayer, I need to be authentic and real not “showy” for others. I do think public prayer is leading others with that prayer, but it still needs to be genuine from my heart.
Jesus was about to be crucified and He had just celebrated the last supper with His disciples. He was in the garden and I can feel the angst in His heart as a human. I can tell He’s deliberate though as the Son of God to follow through on the Father’s plan. Check out His intense prayer….
36 Then Jesus went with them to the olive grove called Gethsemane, and he said, “Sit here while I go over there to pray.” 37 He took Peter and Zebedee’s two sons, James and John, and he became anguished and distressed. 38 He told them, “My soul is crushed with grief to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”
39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.”
40 Then he returned to the disciples and found them asleep. He said to Peter, “Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? 41 Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak!” (Matthew 26:36-41 NLT)
Jesus prayed for rescue – Yet, He wanted the will of the Father accomplished.
Jesus heart was crushed with grief about what was ahead.
Jesus asked for prayer from His disciples.
Jesus reminded them that prayer empowers them in the face of temptation.
I am inspired and encourage in my prayer life as I see Jesus (humanly) in anguish and suffering. I know suffering and struggle. I know anguish. I know heart break. Jesus’ prayer was not full of beautiful metaphors and meaningless words. He got right to the point and bowed before the Father in prayer. I began my morning with a prayer of gratitude. I also can’t get my friend and that whole situation off my mind. I remember hearing that sometimes “Prayer is the least and the most I can do”.