2007-07-13 - The Prayers of Christ
With this devotional, we begin a series on what we can learn from the prayerse of our Lord. We will examine every one of Christ's prayers recorded in the Scriptures. We will begin with the prayer in Mark 6. vv. 35-44 (NIV):
By this time it was late in the day, so his disciples came to him. "This is a remote place," they said, "and it's already very late. 36 Send the people away so they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat." 37 But he answered, "You give them something to eat." They said to him, "That would take eight months of a man's wages! Are we to go and spend that much on bread and give it to them to eat?" 38 "How many loaves do you have?" he asked. "Go and see." When they found out, they said, "Five and two fish." 39 Then Jesus directed them to have all the people sit down in groups on the green grass. 40 So they sat down in groups of hundreds and fifties. 41 Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. 42 They all ate and were satisfied, 43 and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. 44 The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.
What can we learn from this prayer of thanksgiving? First, note the simplicity. Mark simply says "...he gave thanks...." No long, eloquent monologues, simply a prayer of thanksgiving. We don't have to worry about wording with God; He knows our hearts, and just wants us to come to Him, period. Also, did you notice the sequence of events? Christ didn't wait until after God had miraculously provided enough food for everyone. He thanked His Heavenly Father in advance. His thanksgiving prayer was a prayer of unwavering faith. Of course, there is nothing wrong with thanking God "after the fact;" indeed, it is laudable. But as our faith deepens, we should be thanking God in advance of answers to prayers, even if we don't know what's ahead - thanking Him that He will work out what is best (Romans 8:28), and that He will answer prayers, even if the answers aren't what we would hope. So - what if we simply don't have the faith that it takes to sincerely thank God? At that point, we can follow the lead of the father in Mark 9, petitioning God to "help my unbelief." I challenge you - along with myself - to search for more reasons to thank God in advance of His answers.
Comments or Questions?