If overcoming the power and paralysis of our sins requires an active trust in Christ’s authority to liberate us, what is the character of such faith? The examples of the leper, the paralytic and his friends, and Levi in Luke 5 teach us that faith earnestly seeks and decisively looks to the Lord Jesus. As Ukraine does not give up pressing the West for tanks and fighter jets because at stake are their lives and homes, faith perseveres in Jesus. It doesn’t give up. It recognises the devastating terror of sin and turns to Jesus who alone can deliver us.
How then can we know we are trusting in Jesus our Saviour? If our Lord when on earth, in His busy schedule and with pressing needs all around him, often withdrew to pray, let us too consider our prayer life. If we aren’t praying, we may be trusting only in human strength.
Our Lord’s example calls us to take time from our busy world to pray. Just as prayer authenticates our Lord as God’s Son, it is also an outflow from our relationship with God. It requires our presence. It places us before God in attentive reverential awe, joyful adoration, humble confession, heartfelt laments, and restful assurance of His infinite sovereign power, wisdom, and love toward us who believe.
Prayer calls us to be truthful. Since all things are laid bare before God, we cannot fool Him, prayer calls us to tell the truth. We tell God our situations and our deepest desires, fears, failures, and needs, even if it is painful. In acknowledging where we are, prayer opens us to where God wants us to be through the Spirit’s working and leading.
Prayer can be the silent thoughts and meditations of the heart, or words spoken aloud, sung in songs, or written in journals. Prayers can also be read and learned. The Psalms is a book of prayers from and for God’s people. Prayer is also remembrance. We remember what God has done for us in Christ. We remember the needs of others around us. Prayer is also waiting, trusting Jesus our Lord to return soon and make all things right and beautiful.
Prayer has to be done in private and in public. Private prayers prepare and warm the heart. Public prayers enrich our scope beyond our private concerns and perspectives. It articulates our shared life, embracing all our hopes, needs, and longings in the body of Christ.
May we grow in faith through persevering in prayer, privately and corporately.