I am fascinated by Jesus Christ’s praying.
He was, of course, the Perfect Pray-er.
And, I should be imploring Him to teach me to pray just like His disciples implored Him [Luke 11.1].
But, I am interested and intrigued by what most motivated Jesus to pray? What were His strongest and most compulsive impulses to pray to God, His Father?
Why did Jesus pray?
- It was not to confess His sins because He had no sins to confess.
- It was not totally because He didn’t know what He should do – because He did know why He had come into the world.
- It was not totally because He had no power, ability, or strength to accomplish what He did know that He should do – though He always prayed in cooperation and conformity to His Father’s will.
So – if Jesus did NOT pray for those reasons, then why DID Jesus pray?
Like this, for example:
Luke 6.12 [HCSB] ~ During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God.
WHY? What did He pray about? What was He thinking and saying to God, His Father, during those hours of praying?
Or this time:
Matthew 14.22-23 [HCSB] ~ Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowds. 23 After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone. [see also Mark 6.45-46 & John 6.15]
Again, WHY? WHY did He go off by Himself into the secluded mountain terrain to pray? What was He thinking and saying during those hours alone with God, His Father?
Mark will give us a clue into the answer to this question – and the same clue is repeated also in Matthew and Luke. The previous setting up of this ‘prayer get-away’ [that Jesus eventually, late in the day, got around to] is that Jesus had been trying to get away from the demands of the crowds and their needs, and the pressing stresses of His daily ministry activities in order to find some much-needed and much-desired time alone with His Father!
Mark 6.30-33 [HCSB] tells us what was first order of business on that day’s agenda:
The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to Him all that they had done and taught. 31 He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.” For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. 32 So they went away in the boat by themselves to a remote place, 33 but many saw them leaving and recognized them. People ran there by land from all the towns and arrived ahead of them.
Do you see that? Jesus was actually trying to get away from the pressing demands and activities of His daily ministry for some time alone with His Father!
Then – that’s when what we know as “the feeding of the 5000” interrupted and ‘hijacked’ His “quiet time” with God!
So – when Jesus finally DID get back to His priority activity – i.e., time alone with God & praying to His Father – DO YOU HAVE ANY QUESTION AT ALL WHAT HIS MOTIVATION AND PRESSING IMPULSE FOR PRAYING WAS – AND WHAT HE WAS THINKING AND SAYING DURING THESE SOLITARY SEASONS OF PRAYER?
It was this:
THE PRIMARY REASON AND MOTIVATION FOR WHY JESUS HIMSELF PRAYED WAS: TO DELIGHT IN GOD!
Jesus prayed TO DELIGHT IN THE PRESENCE, IN THE WILL, IN THE PLEASURE OF HIS FATHER!
And, that is our lesson: SO SHOULD WE!
Our first and foremost and most pressing motivation, our most driving desire, our most compulsive impulse for our praying should be: TO DELIGHT IN GOD’S PRESENCE, GOD’S WILL, AND GOD’S PLEASURE!
We sing, saying that it is!
“O the pure delight of a single hour
that before Thy Throne I spend
when I kneel in prayer and with Thee, my God,
I commune as friend with Friend”
~ Fanny J. Crosby, “I am Thine, O Lord”
Yet, we may question ourselves:
- “Do I delight in God to that degree?
- Do I even know enough about God that I could delight in Him for a single hour?
- Do I prefer the delight of God’s Presence and company more than everything else I could be doing to give that time to be delighting in Him?”
Make some time today to DELIGHT IN GOD!
It will not ‘just happen.’ You will never, ever, ‘find time to pray and delight in God’ any more than Jesus could ‘find time to pray.’
You will have to do what Jesus did – MAKE TIME TO SPEND ALONE WITH GOD!
But, the delight you enjoy and receive from that dedicated communion will make you wonder why you have waited so long – and why you don’t enjoy delighting in Him more often!