“Pray without ceasing….” -1 Thess. 5.17
The apostles of Scripture, basing their lives on the pattern left by Jesus, gave themselves unreservedly to a life of prayer, and they called the saints to enter into the same reality by the grace of God. They knew that it was only by entering into the place of prayer that the saints would come into the intimate knowledge of God. Only in the place of prayer would they learn His ways and be conformed to them. Only in prayer would they attain a love for the Scriptures. Only in prayer would they learn to gaze upon His majesty in worship. Only in prayer would they enter into His joy and be touched by His burdens.
Prayer is the life-bread of the saints, for there is nothing greater for us creatures than to pour out our lives before the Creator in communion, worship, and intercession. Jesus is the pattern for us in this regard, not only as a model to mimic externally, but as the One who intercedes at the right hand of the Father even now. He is engaged in the work of interacting with the Father’s heart and interceding for the summing up of all things in Him. To abide in Jesus Christ is to walk through life with the Spirit of prayer lighting upon our souls. We may have everything in line externally and religiously, but if we lack the Spirit of prayer we lack everything. To walk with God as a man of prayer- this is the chief and high calling of every saint. Hear Adolph Saphir:
Prayer is connected with our whole life. The sincerity, spirituality, and strength of our prayer, is the measure of our self-discipline and of our walk; our attitude towards God determines our attitude to man; and our realization of things unseen is the source of our self-denial and victory over the world.
In the Lord Jesus Christ we see most clearly the union of prayer and life, the harmony and continual interpenetration of the two spheres of life- communion with God and work of earth. The Son of man, while He lived on earth, was in heaven and in uninterrupted fellowship with God; He glorified the Father on earth by word and deed.
…. we read of Jesus that He came not to do His own will. Looking up to God,- that is, by prayer,- He continually kept all that was within Him in harmony with the Divine will.
…. We are to be conformed to Christ: as He was, so are we in the world. It is in virtue of our union with Him that we pray aright, and that our prayer becomes the centre and power of our inner and outer life.
(Adolph Saphir, Our Lord’s Pattern for Prayer; Kregel Publications, pp. 25-26)
O, friends! Prayer is not a mere crutch for difficult times! Prayer is not a convenience shop that we visit on occasion to attain something from heaven. Prayer is the very gate to God Himself! Prayer is the only place where He is heard and known. Prayer is the only place where we are refined and revivified, cleansed and recharged, encouraged and empowered to walk in the reality of the Gospel. Better to forsake friends and hobbies than to neglect the place of prayer! Better to forsake riches and entertainment than to forsake prayer! Better to leave mechanical ministry by the wayside than to grow thin and threadbare in the place of prayer!
Clear out the inner-room, dear saint! Clear out schedule, location, and mental clutter. Seek the face of God. If you search for Him with all your heart, and receive and avail yourself of this great gift of prayer, you will find the Lord, and your joy will be made full.
Posted in The Kingdom of God Tagged with: adolph saphir, apostles, joy, prayer