Jesus found it necessary to pray. Often He would withdraw from the crowds to a quiet place to spend time in prayer. Luke 5:16 – “Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.”
At the height of his ministry, on the eve of his atoning death on the cross, “being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground”. (Luke 22:44).
Do we not much more need to pray?
Jesus told his disciples to watch and pray in order to be strong against temptations that will destroy their lives. And He asked Peter in amazement, “Could you not keep watch with me for one hour?” (Matth 26:41).
We need to remember that prayer is not a one-way speech bombarding God with all our needs. It is meant to be a real experience of God’s love.
Madame Jean Guyon, the 17th century champion of prayer, writes on the first page of her little book, “Experiencing God through Prayer” (about 1685) that prayer “is nothing more than turning our heart toward God and receiving in turn His love.”
She also says the following of God’s willingness to bless us as we pray, “He desires to be more present to us than we are to seek Him. He desires to give Himself to us more readily than we are to receive Him.”
And eventually, in our experiencing of the presence of God as we pray, “When you have enjoyed God and the sweetness of His love, however, you will find it impossible to set your affections on anything other than Him.”
I believe this is the example Jesus set for us to follow, to pray as an experience of a love fellowship with God.
Strauss de Jager, NG Kerk