It’s easy to believe that we are people of prayer, that is, until we contrast ourselves with Jesus. One of the problems we often run into when thinking about ourselves is that we make comparisons with the wrong people. Compared to others, we look pretty good. After all, I pray more than the next guy, right!? But consider how Jesus prayed when faced with enduring the ignominy of the cross: “Jesus was in great pain and prayed so sincerely that his sweat fell to the ground like drops of blood.”
Even Jesus, the Son of God, felt the intense need to watch and pray so that he could face his time of suffering and humiliation on behalf of humanity. I would conjecture that even your most incredible time of prayer probably doesn’t compare to the experience of Jesus in prayer. That isn’t meant to be a source of guilt, to try and somehow twist our collective arm to be more sincere and focused. Rather, it is meant to show us that there is much more room to grow in this business of prayer than we ever thought.
Perhaps there is so little church renewal, so puny personal revival, and such a paucity of revitalization and reformation among so many Christians because our prayers are so small and so far in between each other. Jesus prayed because he needed it. I pray because without God I am hopelessly lost. I pray because I desperately need Jesus. I pray because only the Holy Spirit can bring the empowerment to face the rigors of ministry in front of me. I pray because I sincerely believe that humanity’s hope rests with the blessed Holy Trinity, the God whom I serve.
Gracious Lord Jesus, I am eternally grateful for what you did on my behalf by enduring the shame of the cross. I have much to learn in praying sincerely, earnestly, and effectively. Teach me, Lord, so that I might be like you in all I do and say. Amen.