Part 1: Prayer & Intimacy
A whistle-stop tour of the book of Luke in the Bible gives us a clear picture of the essence of prayer and an exposition of the Father’s heart on the purpose of prayer.
Prayer is an expression of intimacy with the Father. It is not a public display of loud utterances of words and complex linguistic techniques and methods often displayed by the Pharisees, but rather, a quiet environment where an exchange and connection of the heart occurs between the Father and His child.
His Intimacy with the Father caused a transformation which others around could see;
In Luke 3:21, Jesus was baptised while He prayed in an expression of intimacy between the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. The Father spoke of His pleasure in His Son, the Holy Spirit came down like a dove, and the Son received the equipping to start His ministry (Isaiah. 61:1). Also, we know from Luke 5:16 that Jesus would often withdraw from the hustle and bustle of the crowd to pray in solitude in order to hear from His Father. In fact, He would spend the whole night praying, in a quiet environment in order to hear from His Father (Luke 6:12).
His Intimacy with the Father caused a transformation which others around could see; as noted in Luke 9:28, Jesus’ countenance changed as He prayed. It is therefore not surprising that in Luke 11:1 Jesus teaches the disciples how to be intimate with the Father through prayer as exemplified in the Lord’s prayer. Luke 18:1 emphasises this essential characteristic of intimacy with the Father, noting that Jesus tells His disciples to pray at all times.
In Luke 19:45, Jesus drives the sellers out of the temple, out of His Father’s house which is a house of prayer. In the new covenant, the house of God is not just the church building, it is our hearts. We can therefore connect with Him through our hearts on an intimate level.
The key to Jesus’ intimacy with the Father is that the Father lives in Jesus and Jesus lives in Him (John 14:10). We, as children of God are also the temple of God. The Father lives in us and we live in Him. We can therefore connect and communicate intimately with Him through prayer.
Jesus provides a prototype of how to pray in Matthew 6:9 – “Our Father, … Hallowed be your Name”. This prayer begins with the recognition that we are part of a corporate body, the body of Christ. He is “Our Father” and we can connect with Him in intimate worship through prayer.
Through our worship, He puts His heart into our heart and then we can pray His desires back to Him.
Let us discover God’s heart through prayer, and connect with His children through prayer, so that we can effect a global transformation of the world around us.
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