February 3, 2014 · 7:39 AM
“Who in the days of his flesh, when he had offered up prayers and supplications with strong crying and tears unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared,” Hebrews 5:7.
Prayer That Perfects
Intense, sweaty, stomach churning, heart breaking, face to the ground praying occurred in the garden that cool evening by the Son of Man. Luke describes the prayer of Jesus as agony. “And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44). Jesus, God the Son, was not afraid of dying, nor was He afraid of the suffering He would soon face, and, yet, in His human flesh He felt the overwhelming sense of the burden of sin He must bear for all. His heart ached knowing that the Father must turn His face away while He bore the sins of humanity.
While Jesus poured His heart out to God the Father, His disciples slept. But the loving Father touched by the prayer of His Son sent an angel to minister to Him. Even though, Jesus felt every ounce of sin placed on Him because He was sinless. He still loves us so much that He was willing to bear sin for us. His heart was broken for us. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Cor. 5:21).
The sufferings of Jesus were necessary. Through them He related to the suffering of mankind to the fullest human extent.
November 5, 2013 · 9:49 AM
“And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God,” Luke 6:12.
What if your boss gave you an assignment and told you the project was so important that if you failed, the entire company would go under? Talk about pressure! If it were me, I would probably spend a great deal of time with my boss, trying to understand his vision for the project, asking wisdom and advice from him about how to be successful and asking his opinion about which employees I should work with to guarantee the success of the venture.
The assignment Jesus received from the Father was critical to the success of God’s redemptive plan for the world. Not only was Jesus required to follow God’s plan that led Him to suffer the agony of Calvary, but also He was given the task of leaving His church in capable hands. What did Jesus do? He prayed. The Son of God spent hours and hours in prayer with God the Father. Jesus needed quality time with His Father to align His purpose with God’s purpose and to be filled with power and conviction to follow through. That is what prayer is. It is a time to communicate with the Father and find vigor and passion to fulfill the plans He has for us, partnering with Him and laying our own plans aside.
JUST A THOUGHT – Will you partner with God in prayer today?
Filed under Inspirational
Tagged as advice, agony, Calvary, church, devotional, God, God the Father, guarantee, mountain, prayer, project, redeem, redemptive, venture, vision, wisdom
June 25, 2013 · 12:55 PM
Martyrs: Triumphant in the Flames
Thomas Hawkes, who, with six others, was condemned to death on February 9, 1555. Hawkes was a young man of good stature who had been in the service of the Earl of Oxford. He was well versed in the Scriptures, and thus he had refused to have his child baptized in the Roman church. After being arrested, he was held prisoner in the gatehouse for many terrible months as he was being tried by the infamous Bishop Edmund Bonner of London. After Hawkes endured the agony of the long incarceration, Bishop Bonner finally decided upon the death penalty.
A short while before Hawkes’s death, a group of his friends promised to pray for him in the dread hour of trial and asked for a sign if he realized that Christ was with him in the torture. He agreed with their request and decided that he would lift up his hands in token that he was at peace.
The day of his execution—June 25, 1555—arrived, and Hawkes was led away to the stake by Lord Rich where Hawkes would become a fiery sacrifice on the altar of religious prejudice. When he came to the post where he would be burned, a heavy chain was thrown around his waist, and he was secured. After bearing witness to those close at hand, he poured out his heart to God in prayer, and the fire was kindled. The sun shone brightly on those assembled to see him die, but a group of friends stood praying and straining eager eyes for the gesture of victory.
The victim did not move and slowly the flames enveloped his body. When he had continued long in it, and his speech was taken away by violence of the flame, his skin drawn together, and his fingers consumed with the fire, so that it was thought that he was gone, suddenly and contrary to all expectation, this good man being mindful of his promise, reached up his hands burning in flames over his head to the loving God, and with great rejoicing as it seemed, struck or clapped them three times together. A great shout followed this wonderful circumstance, and then this blessed martyr of Christ, sinking down in the fire, gave up his spirit.
Dr. Dale R. Hart: Adapted from: This Day in Baptist History Vol. I. (Thompson/Cummins) pp. 260 – 261.
Filed under Church History
Tagged as agony, Baptist history, bearing witness, Bishop, child baptized, Christ, condemned, death penalty, eager eyes, Earl of Oxford, execution, gatehouse, heart, human-rights, martyrs, prisoner, Religion, religious prejudice, Roman Church, thomas hawkes, torture, Triumphant