Wednesday, May 17, 2017

The "As Usual" Prayer Life of Jesus

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Sign, in my neighbor's driveway

A significant prayer life is defined, for followers of Jesus, as the kind of prayer life Jesus had. We see this in Luke 22:39:

Jesus went out as usual to the Mount of Olives, and his disciples followed him.

Jesus went out to pray, "as usual." Jesus habitually prayed. He was accustomed to praying. Jesus' default lifestyle was dialed to: praying. 

By my logical lights this then follows: 
  1. I am a follower of Jesus. 
  2. Jesus prayed. 
  3. Therefore, I pray. 

And not just a little bit. The old hymn "Take a Little Time for Jesus" is misleading. Love takes much time with the Beloved. If my Lord engaged in "as usual" praying, then who am I not to replicate this in my life?

Habitual, "as usual" praying produces increasing familiarity with God. As an analogy, Linda and I celebrate forty-four years of marriage this summer. We have spent much time communicating over the years. The result is that Linda knows me better than anyone does, and I, her. There is no substitute for this.

In the same way knowing God requires much time praying. 

A.W. Tozer writes:

"Progress in the Christian life is exactly equal to the growing knowledge we gain of the Triune God in personal experience. And such experience requires a whole life devoted to it and plenty of time spent at the holy task of cultivating God. God can be known satisfactorily only as we devote time to Him."
- A.W. Tozer, The Root of the Righteous, Kindle Locations 134-136

Devote yourself to God in the act of praying.

Pray, as usual, like Jesus did.