Incense Rising Online Study 21

Who accompanied you on your way to work or school today? Who is present with you now? One thing is certain, if you are a Christian, Jesus Christ is with you right now.

Reflect on your last drive with someone. How often did you talk? Compare and contrast that with your prayers today.

I have found I often fail to consider Jesus is here with me. How long did I talk with Him today? How much time was I in silence? This can help us grasp the idea of praying without ceasing. Now consider this: What if we lived in the same town as Jesus during His earthly ministry?

Reading John chapter 11, I reflected upon the conversations between Mary and Martha with Jesus Christ. Read John 11. In verse 2, we are reminded of Mary and how she sacrificially worshipped the Lord. Worship is a vital part of prayer.

Note that the sisters did not tell Jesus what to do. They did not suggest Jesus rush to Lazarus’ side. They did not request healing, although it was implied.

We learn in verse 4 that Lazarus will not die, at least not presently. Mary and Martha know nothing of this. Does that remind you of your prayer life?

We pray and we wait. We are unaware of what Jesus is doing. We wait and the healing does not come. We wait and then it is too late. The healing comes, but on the other side. That can rattle the faith of anyone. Martha’s statement to Jesus in verse 21-22 exemplifies her faith. Her brother died, and Jesus was too late. Even with all her faith, Martha lacked an understanding about the resurrection power of Jesus. Jesus had raised the dead before, but Lazarus had been dead four days.

What principle of prayer does Martha’s statement in verse 27 reflect? What is the coordinating Scripture in the Lord’s prayer?

Look at the reaction of Jesus to Mary’s tears in verse 33.

Friend, think about that. When we are downtrodden with sorrows, Jesus is sympathetic. These Scriptures portray His compassion for the tears of His beloved. That moves me to pray. I need this reminder daily.

We do not approach the throne of grace with a solemn king on the throne. No, our King is full of emotions. Let this verse remind us of this truth:

Casting our cares on Him for He cares for you. 1 Pet. 5:7

John 11:39 is very familiar in our prayer lives. We receive instruction from God. He calls us to serve, to give, to witness, but something doesn’t make sense. Like Martha, we are the voice of reason, or so we think. Lord, that cannot be because… I cannot write books because I have never written. I cannot give that money because I need it myself. I cannot witness to my family because they will shun me. God’s wisdom contradicts man’s wisdom.

How often do we miss out on blessings because we do not follow through? Martha obeyed Jesus and her beloved brother was raised from the dead.

Like all prayers, this interaction resulted in giving glory to God.

I encourage you to look at other conversations with Jesus and compare them to what you have learned about prayer. After all, prayer is simply a conversation with Jesus.

Lord Jesus, forgive my silence. Help me remember You are always present. You long to hear from me. Amen.

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