Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Church: An Interceding Community
Colossians 4:1-6
Vs. 2 Devote yourselves to prayer, keeping alert in it with thanksgiving.
 I have always heard that prayer is powerful. Later in my life I started believing that prayer is powerful. By God’s grace He opened my eyes to see how important prayer is in a deeper way. Whenever I think of devotion in prayer, I think of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane.
 Jesus was praying not just once, but in a series of times just moments before going to the cross. He was praying in the Garden of Gethsemane.
 Jesus told them to “sit here while I go over there to pray” (Matthew 26:36)- With prayer it is important to set apart a time of personal prayer where it is just between you and God; a time for you to be ALL there before God.
 He took along Peter, James, and John further into the garden- his inner circle of disciples, for us maybe our version of Peter, James and John could be our accountability partners or advisers in our spiritual walk. Jesus trusted Peter James and John to be open enough with them to share that he was beginning to feel “sorrowful and troubled” he was being vulnerable to his closest disciples. In times of trouble and sorrow we also need to be vulnerable, we need to be vulnerable in terms of letting our guard down, being transparent, and admitting a need for support. That state of being vulnerable is not very easy to attain because as humans we don’t want to look helpless and weak, but really vulnerability is a reflection of strength because Paul says “for when I am weak then I am strong” (2nd Corinthians 12:10).
 So Jesus continues to go further into the garden, now by Himself, to meet with God. The Savior of this world FELL on His face and prayed (Matthew 26:39). That is a pretty intense way of coming before God, but really there is NO better way. You need to fall, and you could cry, you could laugh for joy, whatever it is…you need to be real before God in the moment of prayer.
 Jesus was perfect, a man who knew no sin. Jesus in all perfection needed to fall before God moments before taking up the “cup” (sins of the world). There was a struggle Jesus had with that “cup” He asked God if it was possible, to let that cup pass, but immediately follows that plea with “not as I will, but as you will” (Matthew 26:39). In the time of prayer remember that whatever the cup is—-whatever the sin, the struggle, the burden the Lord has placed on your heart to pray, follow that with asking for God’s will to be done.

After waking up His disciples Jesus goes back to spend time with His father. Jesus goes back to His disciples and says the “hour is at hand” the time where Jesus was going to be betrayed “into the hand of sinners” to be hung on the cross that brought salvation to those sinners (past, present and future) (Matthew 26: 45).
 Jesus is telling us now that the hour is at hand for His people to pray and pray all the more till His second coming, for that time is coming soon, so we need to be ready to intercede through prayer.
Father God, we thank you for giving us the greatest example of interceding through prayer. Please give us the discipline to spend time in prayer interceding on behalf of your church. Amen
Are we praying for doors to open so the mystery of Christ is declared?
Jenny Zachariah, Immanuel MTC, Houston, TX
Christian Education Forum, Diocese of NAE of the Mar Thoma Church