“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…teaching them to observe all that I commanded you, and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20, NASB).
1) Examples of How Jesus Prayed (R.J. Evans)
2) A Really “Big” Word (E.R. Hall, Jr.)
3) Why Care About Anything 2000 Years Old (Robert Hines)
Examples of How Jesus Prayed
While Jesus lived on earth, prayer was such an integral part of His life. His disciples observed Him praying in a certain place, and when He had concluded His prayer, they made the following request: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples” (Lk. 11:1). Jesus responded by giving them a model prayer (Lk. 11:2-4—some incorrectly refer to this as the Lord’s prayer). But not only did He give them a model prayer, He also gave them many examples throughout His life on how to pray.
One of Jesus’ most well-known prayers is the one in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matt. 26:36-46). This occurred just hours before He was crucified and died on the cross. As in every area of life, Jesus teaches us today about when and how to pray. In this article, let’s observe some of the examples of how Jesus prayed in Gethsemane.
1. Jesus got away from other people to pray. He told Peter, James, and John to “Sit here while I go and pray over there” (Matt. 26:36). There were times when Jesus withdrew to deserted places to pray (Mk. 1:35; Lk. 5:16). It is important that we take the time to get away from everyone, go into our room, shut the door, and “pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” (Matt. 6:6).
2. Jesus “fell on His face” while He prayed (Matt. 26:39). Throughout the scriptures, we find examples of different postures when God’s people prayed; examples such as standing or kneeling (Mk. 11:25; Lk. 22:41; Acts 11:25; 9:40; 21:5). While I do not believe it is a requirement to kneel when we pray, there have been times when I have found myself naturally doing this when engaging in deep prayer—such as praying for someone publicly confessing sin, asking God’s forgiveness, so that they might be restored to a right relationship with Him.
3. Jesus prayed for His Father’s will to be done. In fact, He prayed three times “not as I will, but as You will” (Matt. 26:39, 42, 44). This should be the criteria of all our prayers—”Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 Jn. 5:14).
4. Jesus told His disciples to pray. He specifically told them to “Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing; but the flesh is weak” (Matt. 26:41). The devil tempts us to sin on a daily basis. James tells us what happens when we give in to our own desires—”it gives birth to sin, when sin is full-grown, brings death” (Jas. 1:13-15). But our Lord provides us “the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it” (1 Cor. 10:13). Thus, it is understandable why Jesus, in the model prayer, teaches us to pray for God to “deliver us from the evil one” (Lk. 11:4).
There are many other occasions, examples, and lessons Jesus taught concerning prayer, besides the one He prayed in Gethsemane. For example, He taught: don’t pray to impress others (Matt. 6:5-8); the Father already knows what we need, but He wants us to ask in faith (Matt. 6:8; Jas. 1:5-8); we don’t need to use a lot of “fancy” words when we pray (Matt. 6:7). We are told that when Jesus gave the parable of the persistent widow, “He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart” (Lk. 18:1). The Apostle Paul expressed the same sentiment when he said “pray without ceasing” (1 Thes. 5:17).
May the examples of Jesus help and encourage us in the blessed privilege of prayer in our lives as His children. Let us pray…
— Via the bulletin of the Southside church of Christ, Gonzales, Louisiana, June 16, 2019
A Really “Big” Word
E.R. Hall, Jr.
We are saved, “IF” we keep in memory God’s Word. “Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, IF ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain“ (1 Corinthians 15:1, 2).
We are the house of God, “IF” we hold fast to the end. “And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; But Christ as a son over his own house; who house we are, IF we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end” (Hebrews 3:5,6).
We are holy, “IF” we continue in the faith. “And you, that were sometimes alienated and enemies in your mind by wicked works, yet now hath he reconciled in the body of His flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in His sight: IF ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister” (Colossians 1:21-23).
We are cleansed by His blood, “IF” we walk in the light. “But IF we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanseth us from all sin” (1 John 1:7).
We will never fall, “IF” we do these things. “And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity. For IF these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins. Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for IF ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:5-10).
— Via The Elon Challenger, Volume 16, Number 9, May 2019
Why Care About Anything 2000 Years Old?
The Bible teaches that the message of Jesus is for all people and all time. Since the very first day it was preached, some 2000 years ago, it was “the everlasting gospel to preach to those who dwell on the earth to every nation, tribe, tongue, and people” (Revelation 14:6). It is tempting to dismiss something this old, but there are good reasons to be interested in it. Let us look at some reasons why the gospel of Jesus Christ is never out of date, and why we should consider it carefully.
1. The nature of truth does not change. Rather than being non-existent or relative it is absolute. Jesus said, “If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31,32).
2. The nature of evidence does not change. When witnesses are credible, and these gave their lives for their testimony, regardless of its age, we have “many unmistakable proofs” (Acts 1:3) of the accounts. “That which we have seen and heard we declare to you” (1 John 1:3).
3. Man’s real problem does not change. “Your sins have separated you from your God” (Isaiah 59:2). When we feel loneliness or anger or despair, it is because we are incomplete without the reconciliation to God that comes through the gospel of His Son.
4. God’s unchanging plan is our only real hope. “Repent and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins…for the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call” (Acts 2:37-39).
If we live for our family, our work, our stuff, for learning, for travel, for fun…it’s too little. It’s not enough. When Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly” (John 10:10), He pointed us beyond all these things to God Himself.
— Via The Beacon, March 17, 2019
The Steps That Lead to Eternal Salvation
1) Hear the gospel, for that is how faith comes (Rom. 10:17; John 20:30-31).
2) Believe in the deity of Christ (John 8:24; John 3:18).
3) Repent of sins (Luke 13:5; Acts 17:30).
4) Confess faith in Christ (Rom. 10:9-10; Acts 8:36-38).
5) Be baptized in water for the remission of sins (Mark 16:16; Acts 2:38; 22:16; Rom. 6:3-4; Gal. 3:26-27; 1 Pet. 3:21).
6) Continue in the faith, living for the Lord; for, if not, salvation can be lost (Heb. 10:36-39; Rev. 2:10; 2 Pet. 2:20-22).
CHURCH OF CHRIST
1402 Tebeau Street, Waycross, GA 31501
Sunday services: 9:00 a.m. (Bible class); 10 a.m. & 5 p.m. (worship)
Tuesday: 7 p.m. (Ladies’ Bible class)
Wednesday: 7 p.m. (Bible class)
evangelist/editor: Tom Edwards (912) 281-9917
http://thomastedwards.com/go (Older version of Gospel Observer website without pictures, but back to March 1990)
http://ThomasTEdwards.com/audioser.html (audio sermons)