“A Pattern of Prayer”

Luke 6:12 In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. 

Luke 18:1 Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart,

Jesus’ example, and His explicit instructions, teach us that prayer is central to Christian living.  This is just as central as engaging daily with God in His Word – if not more so.  As Paul and Silas are in prison, though they did not have scripture to read, they still pray and sing. Acts 16:25  25 But about midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns of praise to God… Certainly these hymns included biblical truth, but even without Scripture they were yet fully engaged with God in prayer.  Prayer is utterly central to Christian living.

Daniel prayed routinely; nothing could alter this pattern of his life.  Daniel 6:10 When Daniel knew that the document had been signed, he went to his house where he had windows in his upper chamber open toward Jerusalem. He got down on his knees three times a day and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as he had done previously.

What circumstances threaten to alter your prayer life?  What circumstances do you allow to alter your prayer life?  Daniel was a high-ranking official, engaged with formal public life in the powerful nation of Babylon.  No doubt – he was busy!  Nevertheless, he apportioned time to pray three times daily.  When are you making time to pray these days?  Don’t minimize its importance with unbelief.  Rather, prioritize it by faith!

Jesus’ pattern was to engage deeply with God in prayer alone (Luke 5:16, 6:12, 9:18; Matt. 14:23; Mark 6:46).  When Jesus goes alone to pray, I can’t help but think, “I want what He’s got!”  We can deduce from the rest of His sinless life, and relationship with the Father (John 5:17, 8:19, 8:54, 10:30, et. al.), that His prayer time must have been literally other-worldly!  I believe His disciples were drawn to this, like moths to a flame, prompting them to ask for instruction.  Luke 11:1 It happened that while Jesus was praying in a certain place, after He had finished, one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray just as John also taught his disciples.”  So, He does.

But also, Jesus understands that we can be discouraged in prayer – especially when we pray and don’t see answers right away.  So, in Luke 18:1-8, He teaches us a parable that is meant to encourage us to keep petitioning God – the perfectly righteous judge and Father.  We should not lose heart thinking that He doesn’t hear or doesn’t care.  He does!  We’re to keep asking, seeking and knocking (Matt. 7:7-11).

Our current series “Patterns of Christian Living” has taken several weeks to look at how central the Word of God is to our Christian lives.  It should have a daily place in our schedule.  I would like us to look at prayer for at least a couple weeks, for the same purpose.  There is a rich treasure of instruction in God’s Word to teach us to pray.  Jesus encourages us to pray.  It is possible for every believer to engage with God deeply in prayer. 

It should be part of our reputation in the halls of heaven, that we are a praying church.  Will you join me in considering your routines regarding this central pattern of Christian living?  I hope so, and am praying to this end!  Would that we would lay hold on God’s power, through prayer, as what undergirds everything that happens at Calvary! 

Thanks! See you Sunday,

Pastor Dave

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