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In the School of Prayer

Don’t you find it interesting that two of the professions that charge so much for their services are doctors and attorneys?  And, what makes that so strange is that their credentials to charge so much simply states that they are “practicing” medicine or law.  For the kind of money that a patient or client pays, I think we should require that they are not “practicing” on us, but that they are “proficient”!

Truth be told, we are “practicing” in what we do also.  We never fully arrive at perfection in our professions. Hopefully, we give our best to our employer, but we are “still” practicing daily as things are ever in flux in what we do.

Spiritually, we never attain perfection either.  “All have fallen short of the glory of God.”  One of the areas that is so neglected in the rush of modern life is prayer.  We have many requests for it.  We talk about the need of it for our nation.  We have times when we long for folks to pray for us.  However, serious, earnest, effectual prayer is not practiced by very many of God’s children.  Yet, it is the very means of power by which we are in partnership with God to meet every need of life.

Mary, Queen of Scots, feared the prayers of John Knox more than the combined armies of Europe. Jonathan Edwards’ prayer before the First Great Awakening. David Brainerd, dying of tuberculosis, with his back turned to Indian warriors that were intent on killing him, overcame their evil plans because his face was turned to God.  The greatest illustration of the need for prayer and the power of prayer is Jesus himself.

For three years, the disciples learned by hearing Jesus preach and teach “as one who has authority.” They heard the Sermon on the Mount preached by the Son of God. They heard Him condemn self-righteous Pharisees and encourage a woman caught in adultery to “go and sin no more.” The disciples heard Jesus command the wind and waves (and witnessed their obedience). They heard Him forgive sins. I suspect that they somehow knew the sins were forgiven.

For three years, the disciples learned by watching Jesus do the impossible. They saw Him heal the deaf, the blind, the lame, and the sick. They saw Him feed 5,000 men plus women and children with a boy’s lunch. They saw Him cast out demons. They saw Him raise the dead.  Incredibly, they did not ask Jesus to “teach us to teach and preach with authority.” They did not ask Jesus to “teach us to feed a multitude with a little.” They did not ask Jesus to “teach us to overcome disease, demons, and death.”

Jesus was God incarnate. His divine power was beyond human comprehension. But the disciples noticed something He did that they could learn.  Luke 11:1 – One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord teach us… to pray.” (Copied).