APOSTLES SITTING TOGETHER ON THE SIDE OF A MOUNTAIN
Jesus had just been asked to teach them how to pray.
“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.
“This, then, is how you should pray:
“’Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’
“For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”
He asks Peter.
Pray so that you will not fall into temptation.
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
I know seeking solitude is and important priority for you, Jesus. I have seen you in the evenings go off alone to pray. Spending time with God in prayer nurtures a vital relationship and equips us to meet life’s challenges and struggles.
“Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”
“If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.”
So we can feel free to ask God for anything, but our request may be denied. God wants to give us what is best for us, to help us bring glory to him.
Like you, Jesus, we must break away from others to talk with God.
What about difficult problems?
This kind can only be resolved in sustained prayer.
Prayer is the key that unlocks faith in our lives. Effective prayer needs both an attitude – complete dependence – and an action – asking. Prayer demonstrates our reliance on God as we humbly invite him to fill us with faith and power.
“Have faith in God, I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.”
Father, everything is possible for you…. Yet not what I will, but what you will.
God answers prayer in his own way and in his own time. If we want to have our prayers answered, we must be open to what God can do in impossible situations. And we must wait for God to work in his way, in his time.
Jesus you have often went out to a mountainside alone to pray, and spent the whole night praying to God. We need to make sure that all our important decisions are grounded in prayer.
Some people still see God as a cosmic magician and consider prayer as a way to get God to do his tricks. But God is not a magician – he is the Lord of ALL. Prayer is not a way for us to control God; it is a way for us to put ourselves under his control.
“Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.”
To persist in prayer and not give up means, keeping our requests constantly before God as we live for him day by day, believing he will answer. As we persist in prayer we grow in character, faith, and hope.
Jesus looked toward heaven and prayed for Himself, for His Disciples, and Future Believers.
“Father, the time has come. Glorify your Son, that your Son may glorify you. For you granted him authority over all people that he might give eternal life to all those you have given him. Now this is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent. I have brought you glory on earth by completing the work you gave me to do. And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.
I have revealed you to those whom you gave me out of the world. They were yours; you gave them to me and they have obeyed your word. Now they know that everything you have given me comes from you. For I gave them the words you gave me and they accepted them. They knew with certainty that I came from you, and they believed that you sent me. I pray for them. I am not praying for the world, but for those you have given me, for they are yours. All I have is yours, and all you have is mine. And glory has come to me through them. I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name – the name you gave me – so that theye may be one as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them and kept them safe by that name you gave me. None has been lost except the one doomed to destruction so that Scripture would be fulfilled.
I am coming to you now, but I say these things while I am still in the world, so that they may have the full measure of my joy within them. I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world. My prayer is not that you take them out of the world, even as I am not of it. Sanctify them by the truth, your word is truth. As you sent me into the world. I have sent them into the world. For them I sanctify myself, that they too may be truly sanctified.
My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one. Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may bee one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
Father, I want those you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them.