Summary: Prayer should follow Jesus' example. Prayer is dying (drowning ourselves completely in the waters of baptism) Prayer is receiving (submitting whole-heartedly to the guidance of the Holy Spirit) Prayer is listening (listening quietly to the Voice of God
321 When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened 22 and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form liker is dying (drowning ourselves completely in the waters of baptism)
Prayer is receiving (submitting whole-heartedly to the guidance of the Holy Spirit)
Prayer is listening (listening quietly to the Voice of God)
Baptism & Prayer
Jesus was baptized like everyone else. When Jesus was baptized He was identifying with us. When we are baptized we are identifying with Him.
Luke immediately says “and as He was praying . . .” it’s as if there is no distinction between the actions. Did He pray before He was baptized, while He was baptized, after He was baptized. Presumably it was as He came up out of the water, but we are not told this. I believe this is no accident. Here Luke gives us a hint that there is a connection between the Baptism and the Prayer of Jesus.
So, What is it about Baptism that is connected to the Prayer of Jesus? To understand the connection we must first understand baptism.
I think the clearest definition of baptism is in the writings of Paul.
Romans 6 What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? 2 By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? 3 Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4 We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life. . . . .
SO, BAPTISM IS IDENTIFICATION WITH THE DEATH, BURIAL, AND RESURRECTION OF JESUS.
This is why we baptize with total immersion-not because that method is somehow religiously or magically more efficacious-there is nothing magical about baptism-but because the symbol should somehow match the symbolized. When someone dies you don’t sprinkle their body-you bury them.
And for this same reason we do not baptize young children or babies, though much of the Church still does. How can a baby identify with the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus?
And, here, we see, perhaps, how Baptism and Prayer may be united for Jesus. Baptism prefigures Jesus’ death, perhaps something of our nature must die before we really pray (I’ve heard theologians argue that the baptism of John was not the same as the baptism of Jesus-only theologians argue about such things-but if John’s baptism was a baptism of repentance, it is, still, an indication of death to old works of the old man. The symbol is the same).
So, Prayer is dying.
A First Baptism-Noah-the death of all around Noah & his family, so that Noah’s family could become the source of life for all humanity. The worlds was baptized so that God could preserve life and start again.
A Second Baptism-Abraham & Isaac-God said to Abram, “take now your son, your only son, whom you love, and offer him on a mountain I will show you”. First mention of the words “only begotten son” and love and worship-(Genesis 22:2,5). The first mention of love in Matthew, Mark and Luke is at the baptism of Jesus, as the Father declares His love for the Son.
A Third Baptism-the Children of Israel
For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea. 2 They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea. 3 They all ate the same spiritual food 4 and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ. 5 Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.
Clearly, BAPTISM DOES NOT SAVE YOU.
6 Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did. 7 Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.” 8 We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died. 9 We should not test Christ, as some of them did—and were killed by snakes. 10 And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.
11 These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come. 12 So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall! 13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.