For Jesus, Too, There Was a Prayer for That
SERMON SERIES - THERE'S A PRAYER FOR THAT!
1 - For Jesus, Too, There Was a Prayer for That!
A sermon based on Mark 1:35-39, delivered by Pastor David Russow, Hope Lutheran Church, Andover, MN' October 13 & 16, 2019
In the name of Jesus, who, like us, needed to pray to His Father and His God:
Remember the first bedtime prayer you went to sleep to? Ours was: “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take. Amen.” For going to bed, there was a prayer for that.
As Jesus grew up in Nazareth Mary and Joseph knew Him to be the Son of God. But Jesus was still Mary's and the carpenter's son who was taught a bedtime prayer like any other kid, a version of Psalm 31:5. Jesus fell asleep to that prayer. And later before he fell asleep in death on the cross he prayed it one last time, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” For tired boy and a dying Savior, there was a prayer for that.
Jesus got tired and there was a prayer for that. Jesus got hungry and there was a prayer for that, “Give thanks to the LORD for he is good, his love endures forever.” Jesus became sad and wept at the grave of his friend Lazurus. “Father, glorify your name.” There was a prayer for that too. Jesus came among us as one of us and needed like anyone of us and in every need, knowing perfectly every one of our needs, for him there was a prayer for that.
“There's a prayer for that,” is the them under which we are going to explore just how wonderfully God Father answers us when we call to him in and with all of our needs. Jesus' own prayer, which we call the Lord's Prayer, will serve as the basis. But before meditate on each part of the Lord's Prayer let's stop, today and consider this: Jesus, too, needed to pray His prayer. For Jesus, too, There Was a Prayer for That!
35Jesus got up early in the morning, while it was still dark, and went out. He withdrew to a solitary place and was praying there. 36Simon and his companions searched for him, 37and, when they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is looking for you!” 38He told them, “Let's go somewhere else, to the neighboring villages too. In fact, that is why I have come.” 39Then he went throughout the whole region of Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
There was a prayer for an exhausted Jesus
Early after hitting the road with his disciples Jesus was already exhausted. The many people who came to him with their many and great needs washed over him like a tidal wave. The mass of people who came to him started when He changed water into wine at the wedding in Cana. The word of a Miracle Worker spread. With His fishermen followers at his side Jesus took his Message and His miracles to the fishing villages of Galilee. People seemed more interested in the miracles and He got bogged down in Capernaum. First a demon possessed man, filled with many demons, yells at Jesus with the guttural voice of the possessed, “What do you want to with us, Jesus of Nazareth?” Jesus demanded that those demons be quiet and then cast them out. The man shook and the demons shrieked as they came out. That shriek was like the sirens tested on the first Wednesday of the month, because the Bible then says, “New about him spread quickly over the whole region of Galilee.”
Mobs of people then came seeking Jesus. If he could cast out demons and make a man whole again, what could he do with sicknesses, diseases. Those closest started to cash in. Peter had Jesus heal his mother in law of a fever, and by the end of that day we hear that the whole town of Capernaum was at Jesus' door lined up with their sick and demon possessed. He healed many. He cast our many demons. And as the sun set, Jesus was exhausted, beleaguered by the press of people the press of life. There was a prayer for that for Jesus, too. Jesus slept, but his real rest was not putting his cell phone on silent, pulling the drapes, wearing a sleep mask, and sleeping in. No, he got up early, while it was still dark, and he went out by himself to pray.
What do you think Jesus said to His Father and the Spirit (yes, you can pray directly to the Holy Spirit, too) alone with them in the pre-dawn darkness? What do you think He asked of them? Love. Strength. Zeal. Jesus needed just like we need. - What do you do when you're exhausted? Eat comfort food? Pour a drink? Put the feet up and pop in a flick or hit Netflix? Take a nap? Go to bed early? Talk to the Father and the Spirit, first or last? I used to think that an anecdote about Abraham Lincoln was a good one. When one general after another failed to lead and when the Army of Virginia under Lee was knocking at the gates of the Washington D. C. and everything was looking bad for the Union he said, “We must go to our knees for there is no where else to go.” Maybe that's not the best illustration, the first place to go – when exhausted with life's circumstance, for a marriage that takes work, for children's situations that drain, for those people who just don't get it, for every need – the best place and first place to be is on your knees in prayer. There's always a prayer for the exhausted.
There was a prayer for a misunderstood Jesus
It doesn't seem Jesus had time to finish his praying when the disciples come looking for him and somewhat correct the Lord Jesus, “Everyone is looking for you!” It was like, “Come on Jesus, you're wasting your time here praying. There are more people to heal, more demons to drive out...Let's get on with it.”
The misunderstood Jesus. Jesus did not come to be a walking Mayo Clinic, though he showed compassion and healed many. Jesus did not come to be Exorcist I, II, III, IV, V... thought he sent demons packing one time sending as many as 6,000 (a Roman Legion's worth) into a herd of pigs. His main task was the preach about the Kingdom of God in which sins are forgiven (and He'd earn that on the cross as a King), in which He'd heal bodies forever (and He'd rise from the dead as Victor) corruptible bodies made incorruptible!
Do we misunderstand Jesus and indicate that in our prayers? “Jesus, help me with this test. Jesus, seal this business deal. Jesus fix this. Jesus heal that. Jesus, let me get through that light while it's green, 'cuz I can't be late. Jesus, just let me win this lottery and I'll...”
One of the major lessons that this series on the Lord's prayer, “There's a Prayer for That,” is to get Jesus, to get Jesus for Whom He is = Savior, is to get our priorities right – priorities in life in prayer FOR THE SOUL! For us to really get that, God's got to talk to us before we talk to him with our prayers for that...so we understand Jesus.
Notice where Jesus then headed: to the synagogues, where people came to hear the Word of God. That's what he wanted to be most noted for, where He wanted to be most associated with and the most understood. I'm sure in each he offered prayers there too. Amen.