When most people get weary, they want nothing more than to sleep. But Jesus was different. Instead, we find Him, when wearied by crowds of people with all kinds of cares, always welcoming the opportunity to be alone with God to pray (see Matthew 14:23). Sometimes, He even spent entire nights in prayer. Jesus was refreshed and energized through that experience of fellowship with God (see Luke 6:12). Through these glimpses into the life of Jesus, we gain insights on how to experience a spiritually vibrant walk with our Heavenly Father.
Sixty times or more, the Bible tells us of either Jesus’ example in prayer or His instruction on prayer. He taught and showed humility in prayer, persistence in prayer, and self-surrender in prayer. Prayer is made up of many things, but it must certainly include one’s full surrender to the perfect will of God in our lives.
God is a welcoming Father. He delights in having His children pray to Him. In our prayers, we can worship Him, petition Him, praise Him, and submit to Him. We can trust Him, because He is a good God! Acts 17:27 says those who seek Him shall find Him. Those that find Him will have the same heartthrob as the disciple of Jesus who cried out to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray.”
To that disciple and those listening, Jesus replied, “When ye pray, say, ‘Our Father which art in heaven . . .’” In the example of how to pray, Jesus, among other things, emphasizes Godly reverence, a full surrender, a thirst for holiness, our daily need for sustenance, a forgiving spirit within, and a consecrated walk. That is what real prayer looks like, and it is something that every individual can attain.
As imitators of Jesus, we follow his example of a life dedicated to prayer. Flowery phrases do not constitute prayer—prayer is the breathing out to God what He has already breathed into us. It is the experience of fellowship—real fellowship—between the finite and infinite, between the temporal and eternal, between humanity and divinity. Prayer is the vibrant linkage between us and God, and is readily available to everyone. You can talk to God right now and He will hear you. Pray, my friend! Pray!
Your billboard suggests that Jesus is not God but prays to God. Was that your intention?
Thank you for that question, Janis. No, we did not intend to suggest that Jesus isn’t God. When Jesus walked here on the earth, voluntarily limiting Himself to our time and space, he prayed often to His heavenly Father–and we can follow His example and teaching to do the same. But now that Jesus has returned back to heaven itself, He and His father are united once again. As the ‘second’ Person of the triune Godhead, Jesus is the Son of God, but He is also God the Son!
I apologize that the billboard can be misunderstood. Perhaps it could be more clear, but because the message must be short enough to be read by passing motorists in a split second or two, we try to keep them as concise as possible.
The message is meant to invite and encourage us to maintain a vibrant connection with God as Jesus did when He physically walked this earth.