Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Prayer Takes Time but it's Time Worth Taking

Prayer takes time, but it’s time worth taking. Jesus is no doubt the best example of this truth for, though he was busy beyond what we can imagine, he always made time to be with his Father. “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray” (Luke 5:16). In other words, prayer was an integral part of his life. And the reason it was such an integral part of his life was because Jesus loved being with his Father. He needed to be with his Father.
In his book, A Praying Life (NavPress, Colorado Springs: 2009), Paul Miller points out that Jesus’ prayer life was an expression of his child-like dependence upon the Father. This sense of utter dependence is what led Jesus to say that he only did what he saw his Father doing, and only said what he heard his Father saying, and only judged as he saw his Father judging (John 5:19, 30; 8:28; 12:49).
Therefore, “When Jesus tells us to become like little children, he isn’t telling us to do anything he isn’t already doing. Jesus is, without question, the most dependent being who ever lived. Because he can’t do life on his own, he prays. And he prays. And he prays…
“When Jesus tells us that ‘apart from me you can do nothing’ (John 15:5), he is inviting us into his life of living dependence on his heavenly Father…[And] when you know that you (like Jesus) can’t do life on your own, then prayer makes complete sense” (45).
Amen. And it makes sense not only because we need to get energy and things from God in order to live this life, but because we love him who first loved us and long to be with him. Kim and I are disciplined about spending regular time together but it’s not exactly a chore to do so—at least not for me! Quite the opposite, it is one of the high joys of my day to debrief with Kim in the evening, and one of the high joys of my week to date her on Fridays. I love being with my wife and best friend! It’s no duty, it’s love.
Prayer ought to feel like that. As Miller writes, “[Jesus’] prayer life is an expression of his relationship with his Father. He wants to be alone with the person he loves” (45). I’ll say more about that word “alone” next week, but for now let me encourage you—even urge you—to get some alone time with your Father this week. He’s longing to be with you.

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