I’ve been a follower of Jesus for over 15 years now. That might be an impressive number to a few and probably laughable to others. I only bring it up because after 15 years I find that I still make some of the same silly mistakes over and over again.
For example, I can treat prayer like it is meaningless.
I might say prayer is powerful. I know it’s something I should do. I believe that in prayer I have the loving ear of the God who holds the universe in his hands.
But…do I pray like it?
God Prays More Than Me
When I think back on the life of Jesus it humbles me to realize how often he prayed. I mean, Jesus was fully God and fully man and yet he prayed to the Father all the time. Jesus- who turned water to wine, healed countless diseases, cast out demons, walked on water, and raised Lazurus from the dead- prayed.
Not only did he pray but, he prioritized prayer like it was food. We see time and time again in the bible, Jesus pulling away from the disciples and crowds to pray. This challenges me. Jesus was the perfect man. His very life shows us how men and women should walk on this earth. And when I survey his life, prayer is consistently found. If I really want to be conformed into the image of Jesus, then I think this is a great place to start.
Jesus Prayed as A First Course of Action
Another humbling aspect of Jesus’ prayer life was how he viewed prayer. I can often treat prayer like it’s what you do when everything else has failed. But not Jesus. One of my favorite quotes from Jesus is found in Luke 22.
31-32 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Can you imagine being Simon Peter in this moment? Jesus has just informed you that Satan has demanded to have you! I wonder if Peter’s fight or flight instincts kicked in. Sometimes Peter grabs a sword in moments like this and at other times he denies Jesus before a little girl. I can relate. When I see danger or a problem I look desperately for a solution. I try to take things into my own hands.
Did you see what Jesus did? Jesus basically tells Peter, “Satan has demanded to tear you into pieces, but don’t worry man, I prayed.” That is amazing! Satan demanded something and Jesus’ response is to place a better request before His Father in heaven.
Drown Out The Demands of Satan
When I think about these verses, and I look at the world around me during this crisis I can’t help but think that Satan is demanding a lot of things. He is the thief who comes to steal, kill and destroy. To him, this crisis must look like a victory. But we know what to do because of Jesus’ example.
Like it’s the food that we need every day, let’s pray.
As we see panic, fear, and anxiety creep up in our own hearts and those around us, let’s pray.
Instead of trying everything else first, let’s pray.
And as Satan makes arrogant demands, let’s drown him out by praying to our Father who loves to hear us
I guess what I’m saying is, let’s pray like all the things we believe about prayer are true. It is my prayer that one fruit of this crisis is that Metro Life Church would be a people who pray.
How Can We Pray Together During This Crisis
I want to make this really practical and easy for us so that we can start praying right away. Here are two practical resources to help you pray in the coming weeks.
- Every morning (Monday-Saturday) at 9 am, a group of us have been gathering together virtually for prayer. We have been using a software called zoom to video conference call with one another. We simply pray together for 30 minutes to start our day. If you would like to join us, just send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Every morning I’ll email you a link to our conference call at 8:45 am. Don’t worry if you can’t make it every morning, I’ll send you the link anyway.
- Earlier this week I was introduced to this website called Bless Every Home. You create a free account which includes putting in your street address. They use public domain information to show you the names of everyone who lives on your street. If you sign up for the daily emails you will get a list every morning of 5 neighbors to pray for that day. It’s just a simple way to love those who live around you. They may never know that you have been praying for them by name, but how good is it to know that our Father in heaven hears those prayers.
As pastors we carry you all in our hearts. Please know that you are in our prayers. If you have any specific prayer requests you can let us know by filling out this form.