During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission.
Prayers of Intensity
It’s said that early African converts to Christianity were fervent and intense when it came to their prayer life. Each would go to a private place in the thicket to pour out his heart to the Lord. Over time, each person’s path into the thicket became well-worn. It also was clear whenever someone’s prayer life began losing intensity. Whenever that happened, a fellow Christian would gently say, “Brother, the grass grows on your path.”
When it comes to the intensity of your prayer life, does the grass grow on your path? Think over the past seven days. Pinpoint specific moments when you talked to your Heavenly Father in prayer. Were many of them simply memorized mumbles at mealtimes and before bed? Were they automatic recitations in a worship service? Were they half-hearted daydreams while you listened to the traffic report on the way to work? Each of us must confess that all kinds of grass have grown on the intensity of our prayer life from time to time. And for that flippant act of neglect, each of us deserves to be ignored by God.
But consider Jesus. God’s Word in Hebrews chapter five gives us riveting visual footage. It pictures Jesus while he lived on this earth. It pictures him praying to his heavenly Father with such intensity that loud cries pour out of his mouth, and tears flow from his eyes. And because of Jesus’ perfect submission, God listened to the prayers of his Son.
And there’s the beauty: Jesus’ prayer life was one of perfect intensity and perfect submission on our behalf. And the blood he shed at Calvary’s cross has washed away our every sin of neglect.
Because of Jesus, the privilege of prayer is ours. Because of Jesus, we have a Lord who is ready to listen at any moment. And so beat a path to your prayer time with God. Make the grass on your path go away.
Thank you, Jesus, that because of your perfect prayer life in my place, I am forgiven for my imperfect life of prayer and now have the privilege of praying to my heavenly Father. Amen.