Prayer should be a consistent and intense part of our life in Christ.
John 18:2 – And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.
Prayer. I believe its simplest definition is simply “communion with God.” In that word “communion” is an amazing amount of insight and imagery. “Communion” is often looked upon more in a sense of a religious or spiritual context. But it is also “communication.” “Communication,” on the other hand, is likely viewed more on the lines of carrying on a conversation, or exchange or transferal of thoughts, ideas, desire, or will between two individuals. Others may think of prayer as “talking TO God,” while still others think along the lines of “hearing FROM God.”
My purpose in addressing prayer today has not to do with the length of time, frequency, or even the fervency of prayer, but rather the PLACE of PRAYER. Look closely at our Text for Today once again. Do you see the words, “for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither.”? We know that Jesus was a praying man. We know He prayed often. We know He prayed fervently. We know He prayed for protracted periods of time. And though He traveled often to different places within His country, it seems that the garden of Gethsemane was a place to which He resorted frequently. I believe He came there to pray; to a place familiar to Him; to a place where He could be alone with Father.
I owe so much to the heritage left me by men of God who have gone before me. Some had great names, and still do so today. Others, unknown by the masses, have still impacted me greatly. My father-in-law was such a man. He was a minister in the Church of God for 45 or more years. He pastored many churches, helping to lift them from great difficulty to a place of respect in the community with strong congregations and well-established facilities. Among his attributes as a saint of God was his prayer life. He was a praying man. Before I married his daughter, they moved from a residence in one town to another. At the first residence, he had a regular place of prayer; a log in the woods new a small stable where he kept a few animals. When he moved to the new location, he took the log with him. It was his altar; his regular and familiar place of communion with the Lord. He stored it in the hay-loft of the stable where he moved. When it rained, he no longer had to pray in the rain. But still, as long as his health permitted, there is where he would go for his personal prayer time. Often late at night, even on the coldest of winter nights, he would come late from the stable, having taken far longer in prayer than he had to feed his animals. He had a place of prayer. So did Jesus. Do you?
Manna for Today – John 18:1-11; Luke 18:1-14; 1 Timothy 2:1-4; 1 John 5:13-15