Today I learn how crucial praying is for Jesus Christ. After teaching the crowd and successfully feeding at least 5000 men out of an impossibility (v.41-44), Jesus insisted his disciples to leave first without Him to Bethsaida, and so did He do to all the people, sending them back home (v.45). Why? Because He had an urge to do something alone. He wanted to pray (v. 46).
As the Son of God with the same nature of God Himself (Colossians 2:9), He places communication with His Father on top of everything. He sets time for prayers. He needs to share and ask things from His Father. In John 17 Jesus asks His Father for protection over His disciples and for their sanctification. He also prays for the unity of all believers in the world, and for these believers’ future to be with Jesus and that the love of the Father may also be with them.
For us Christians, is praying essential? Is it an obligation or something we cannot live without? Is it a quick prayer before bed or eating? Is it a rush prayer before doing something important which is more like a justification of what we are going to do? Is it a long prayer that we get lost in the middle of the prayer, unable to be focus on a certain subject as our minds wonder here and there? Or is our prayer too official that it doesn’t represent our real situations?
Let’s look at how David prayed in Psalm 13:1-11:
“How long, Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death, and my enemy will say, ‘I have overcome him,’ and my foes will rejoice when I fall. But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the Lord’s praise, for he has been good to me.”
It is so raw and honest, yet so intimate. He consciously shared his burden, freely expressed what was on his mind but above all, he trusted God very much on His unfailing love. This king, a man after God’s own heart, was powerful in his time, yet he needed God’s presence and action very much in his life. Just like our Lord Jesus needs His Father very much even though He Himself is God. Do we need God as much as they did that praying becomes very important?
Maybe the problem is too big, too difficult, and the request is too good to be granted that we decide to do nothing. We thought it would be useless. But Jesus said in Luke 18:1-8, that we ought to pray always and never give up because “…God will surely give justice to his chosen people who cry out to him day and night…”. Amen. Let’s trust God and pray relentlessly.