Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. (Mark 6: 45-47 ESV)
Prayer is an important part of life. Our Lord and Savior saw it as something that was so important that he would often go off by himself to pray. What would God pray to God about? Fortunately we have some of his prayers recorded for us. There is the model prayer in Matthew 6:9, the Priestly prayer in John 17, the intercessory prayer in Luke 23:34, and even a prayer of thanksgiving in Matthew 11:25 and 15:36.
Clearly prayer is an important part of life for those who belong to the Lord. Private prayer is vital to personal spiritual growth and maturity. It is encouraging to know that the Lord is intimately aware and personally invested in your life. Corporate prayer is important for the unity of the body of Christ. Praying for believers both in your local congregation as well as those in other local congregations unites believers in a very special and intimate way. Lifting up burdens. Interceding for others. Crying out for the lost. All of these disciplines are important aspects of demonstrating a love for the brethren and dependence on God.
Paul understood this when he wrote to Timothy in 1Timothy 2:1-8 where he urges all believers to pray for all people at all times and in a way that reflects God’s heart for them. Have you evaluated your prayer life recently? Are you consistently depending on God for all things? Are you burdened for the lost? Have you interceded for brothers and sisters in need? If so, you are participating in the ministry the Lord has for his people. Continue growing and improving in these things. If you struggle with these things, would you consider committing yourself to joining us on Wednesday nights as a way of keeping yourself accountable to the Lord to become more consistent in prayer? You will be blessed by the fellowship and the experience of seeing God answer prayer.
With brotherly affection,