Reading : Luke 6 v12-16 A constant theme in Luke's gospel is how often Jesus withdraws to pray, its one of his habits.
We often treat habits as bad, "Oh! Its getting a bit of a habit, isn't it?", with the insinuation that therefore you ought to stop. But some are good for us, like breathing! Jesus shows us a good habit to get into, prayer. We read 'he went to a solitary place at daybreak.' Luke 4v42. 'Retreated to lonely places to pray' Luke 5v16. Here he retires to a mountainside to pray Luke 6v12 . Luke emphasises Jesus prayerful dependence on the Father. He also emphasises Jesus need to get away from everyone, so he could listen to His Father.
The story is told of Susannah Wesley, John and Charles Wesley's mother, who when she wanted a quiet time to pray, would simply sit down and lift her apron up to cover her head, her children knew at that point that mother was not to be disturbed.
To emphasise the importance of prayer, Benjamin Franklin, one of the founding Fathers of America, once said "Work as if you were to live a hundred years, pray as if you were to die tomorrow."
Our prayers may be awkward. Our attempts may be feeble. But since the power of prayer is in the one who hears it and not in the one who says it, our prayers do make a difference." (Max Lucado). Billy Graham once said "True prayer is a way of life, not just for use in case of emergency. Make it a habit, and when the need arises you will be in practice." Martin Luther wrote "To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing."
John wanting to assure his readers, put it this way "This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will , he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we have asked of him." (1 John 5 v14-15). John was emphasising our prayer is what confidence we can have through it, and so encouraging the young church to make it a Habit.
We are to pray with confidence, knowing that our Father hears us, providing we ask in accordance with his will, and he will answer.
So let's make Prayer a Habit.
Song : Sweet Hour of Prayer
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4 v6-7)
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