10 Sept 2019
You must live your whole life according to the Christ you have received – Jesus the Lord; you must be rooted in him and built on him and held firm by the faith you have been taught, and full of thanksgiving.
Make sure that no one traps you and deprives you of your freedom by some second-hand, empty, rational philosophy based on the principles of this world instead of on Christ.
In his body lives the fullness of divinity, and in him you too find your own fulfilment, in the one who is the head of every Sovereignty and Power.
In him you have been circumcised, with a circumcision not performed by human hand, but by the complete stripping of your body of flesh. This is circumcision according to Christ. You have been buried with him, when you were baptised; and by baptism, too, you have been raised up with him through your belief in the power of God who raised him from the dead. You were dead, because you were sinners and had not been circumcised: he has brought you to life with him, he has forgiven us all our sins.
He has overridden the Law, and cancelled every record of the debt that we had to pay; he has done away with it by nailing it to the cross; and so he got rid of the Sovereignties and the Powers, and paraded them in public, behind him in his triumphal procession.
Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God. When day came he summoned his disciples and picked out twelve of them; he called them ‘apostles’: Simon whom he called Peter, and his brother Andrew; James, John, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Simon called the Zealot, Judas son of James, and Judas Iscariot who became a traitor.
He then came down with them and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon who had come to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. People tormented by unclean spirits were also cured, and everyone in the crowd was trying to touch him because power came out of him that cured them all.
Jesus went out into the hills to pray; and he spent the whole night in prayer to God.
Can you imagine that? The last person I expected to find praying fervently would be Jesus! After all, He is the Son of God, and He has a close relationship with the mighty God, who He calls “Abba” or Father. It is through Jesus’ relationship with God that we can call Him our Heavenly Father as well.
So why on earth would Jesus need to pray? Throughout the Bible, it is often mentioned that Jesus prayed, frequently going off somewhere seeking solitude. He prayed intensely, lengthily and completely. He prayed for guidance, prayed for reassurance and prayed for help. But in all His prayers, He remained obedient and wanting to do God’s will.
It dawned on me that if Jesus, the Son of God, found it important to pray, how much more so for you and me? I for one, admit that I need all the guidance, reassurance, help and support that God is offering. Then why wouldn’t we want to pray every day, every moment and every chance we have?
Now, it is difficult, if not impossible for most people to pray endlessly or for long periods in a day; after all, we all have busy lives and schedules and endless commitments. It would be unrealistic to ask someone to pray for hours on end; but it is completely doable and realistic for one to pray 5 to 15 minutes a day…for a start. Trust me, once you start praying regularly, you’ll never get enough.
I never used to pray every day, but only on Sundays in church. I didn’t know how much I was missing until I could not find any guidance from family or friends that brought me peace. It was then that I turned to God. Peace only came about when I prayed repeatedly. Sometimes reciting prayers, sometimes simply talking and unloading the issues at hand, and sometimes sitting quietly alone in the church. I started with 5 minutes a day, once a week, then it became twice a week and for longer periods. Then it became more frequent and lengthier. It has become so much a part of me that if I miss my daily ‘talk’ or prayers, I feel a part of me is missing, like my morning coffee. I am not holier because I pray, it is recognizing that I am incomplete until I pray that makes me want to pray more.
(Today’s OXYGEN by Winnie Kung)
Prayer: Dear Lord, teach us the importance of prayers, the importance of maintaining a relationship with you and God our Father through prayers.
Thanksgiving: We thank you for listening to our prayers and providing guidance and answers, even though they are not what we want or expect; but what is best for us.