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Monday, May 8, 2017

Prayer: A Spiritual "Tune-Up"

When it comes to prayer, there is so much that we can learn through the Word of God. In both the Old and the New Testaments, there are many examples of the importance of prayer in the lives of God's people. Abraham prayed, as did Moses, Samuel, and David. The apostles Peter and Paul prayed. Prayer is our means of connecting with God. It is our way of sharing with Him our thoughts, our needs, and our desires. It is our way of pouring out our hearts to Him and seeking His will in all areas of our lives. When have to make an important decision or are getting ready to start out on a new path set before us by God, we need to take the time to pray, to seek His strength and support.

Anyone who owns a car knows that, for that car to run efficiently, it needs regular maintenance. Before setting out on a long trip, we want to be sure that the car we are driving is ready and able to handle it. So, we take the car to a mechanic for a tuneup. When we need to make an important decision in our lives or we are about to begin a new job, start a new school, or step into a new ministry, we need to be sure that we are ready and able to handle it. We need a spiritual "tuneup." In order to receive that "tuneup," we need a spiritual "mechanic." We need to go to our heavenly Father in prayer.

Of all of the Gospels, the Gospel of Luke provides the most emphasis on Jesus' reliance on prayer. In Luke 5:16, Luke tells us that Jesus often went off on His own to seek His heavenly Father in prayer. Beginning in chapter 6 of Luke, we read that Jesus chose His twelve apostles (Luke 6:13-16) then delivered what was probably His greatest sermon (Luke 6:17-49). He then healed the servant of a centurion (Luke 7:1-10) and raised to life the son of a grieving widow (Luke 7:11-15). But, before He did all this, Jesus went for a spiritual "tuneup." Luke 6:12 says that Jesus went out to a mountainside where he spent not just a few minutes or a few hours, but an entire night in prayer to God (Luke 6:12).

Jesus knew that He had an important decision to make regarding the choice of the men who would one day go out into the world to preach His good news. He knew that He would be preaching to the multitude and performing miracles of divine healing. He also knew that He need the strength and support of His heavenly Father to do all this. He needed a spiritual "tuneup" and so He spent the night seeking the face and the will of the Father. If Jesus, the Son of God, needed that, how much more do we?

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