It’s a special kind of tragedy when a rich inheritance is left unclaimed because no one looked at the final will.
The tragedy isn’t in the inheritance’s loss of value over time – it’s in the life that could have been.
Our ability to talk to God through prayer is our rich inheritance. It was prayer – communication with Father God in heaven – that made all the difference in Jesus life and ministry. So it must be the same for us.
“He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, ‘Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.’ An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him.” (Luke 22:41-43)
Jesus prayed much and prayed often, even up till His final hours before crucifixion. He spent that night in prayer to his Father, and He was strengthened because of it. He yielded Himself to the will of His Father in just 18 words. His submission was the result of a life spent in prayer and communion with the Father.
Jesus asked that the cup of suffering be taken from Him, “If you are willing, take this cup from me” – but He didn’t end the conversation there. In the next breath, He acknowledged the sovereign will of God and yielded Himself to it, “Yet not my will, but yours be done.”
Jesus showed us the intimate relationship he had with his Father through prayer. It was intimate enough that He could be totally honest before Him, and that Jesus would do anything for His Father.
“During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.” (Hebrews 5:7)
Without prayer, we wilt and wither waywardly.
Human history could have gone down a different path if Jesus had not shown reverent submission to his Father in prayer.
Do we believe that we need prayer to align our lives to the Father’s will? A life led by our own will can be a good life – by the world’s standards. But if you believe there must be more than this to life – that we were made for communion and intimacy with God – then we need to pray for His will to be done in our lives.
“Many people will pray when they are required … by the anxiety caused by troubling circumstances. Those with a genuinely lived relationship with God as Father, however, will inwardly want to pray and therefore will pray even though nothing on the outside is pressing them to do so.” (Timothy Keller)
Often, I’ve found myself praying only because I was anxious. I prayed only when I needed God – when I couldn’t handle something on my own. Self-sufficiency was the thing I built my life around and I couldn’t see that it was all a sham.
No man is self-sufficient. I am not self-sufficient. I need God.
Where did I learn otherwise? We don’t just need the occasional gifts from His hand – all of life is a gift from Him – we need fellowship with His very person.
And that’s only developed through prayer. Without prayer, we wilt and wither waywardly.
“But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.” (Jude 1:20-21)
Our job is to build ourselves up in faith by reading His Word (Romans 10:17) and pray unceasingly (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18). We need the Holy Spirit to help us with that.
Think of how Paul prayed for the Ephesians, “I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith” (Ephesians 3:16-17a).
Prayer gives us the strength to yield to our Father God – just like Jesus did. If you don’t know what to pray for, you can never go wrong praying this: For His will to be done in our lives, here on Earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10).
So pray much, pray often, and pray more than you did yesterday. He is coming soon, but until He does, our race is not yet over. If you want to depend on God’s power to lead a life that pleases Him – you need prayer like you need oxygen.