Summary: How Jesus, as a man, found strength, guidance and grace as a direct result of His constant prayer life.
1940’s - The Manhattan Project
§ SECRET project; precious few who knew about it
§ To personnel at the assembly plant of the secret project in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, it was known as Project "S-Y."
§ To the Joint Chiefs, it was known as "S-1"
§ To the head of the Department of War, "X"
§ To the scientists at Los Alamos, New Mexico, "The Gadget", "Thin Man", "Fat Man."
§ August 6, 1945: Hiroshima, Japan. An 18 year old girl describes this "SECRET" in her own words:
Kaz Suyeishi said: "It was a beautiful day. I had just finished breakfast, and my mother told me to go water the front yard. I went outside and saw a friend in the street and went to greet her. We started talking, and then we heard a B-29. It was a sound we knew well. I called it the angel, because it had never dropped a bomb to hurt us. Up in the sky we saw the beautiful airplane, just like a ballerina, dancing against a blue sky. I told my friend to wave at the angel, and then it was gone. The only difference was that this time it left a white spot up in the sky. I thought it was the parachute of an American pilot coming down in enemy territory. Then suddenly there was a very, very powerful yellowish-orange flash-like when you’re taking a picture and you use the flash-only a hundred thousand times more powerful."
A SECRET POWER OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. A POWER THAT CHANGED THE WORLD. I’ll tell you more about it at the end. But let’s look at a better secret power. The Secret power of Jesus.
Scripture Reading, Luke 5:15, 16
A. Jesus heals a leper (Lk 5:13).
B. The news about Jesus spread throughout that area (Lk 5:15).
C. People came to hear Jesus and to be healed by Him (Lk 5:15).
D. Jesus withdrew to lonely places to pray (Lk 15:16).
THIS IS JESUS’ SECRET OF HIS POWER. PRAYER.
There are other instances when Jesus withdrew from the crowds to pray alone. What can we learn from Jesus?
1. Mt. 14:23 (cross references: Mk 6:46; Jn
After feeding more than 5000 people, Jesus immediately dismissed His disciples and the crowd and went to pray alone until evening. The text in John says that the reason He withdrew was because the people wanted to make him king by force.
COMMENTARY The people were amazed by this miraculous sign and began to say, "Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world" (Jn. 6:14). They were in a state of expectation for a long time and were hungry for liberation from their Roman rulers. When they saw and experienced Jesus’ miracle, excitement and ambition overcame them. The people and the disciples were not looking for a suffering Savior, but a conquering King. Here was Jesus’ chance to use His power to destroy the Roman yoke and to establish a glorious kingdom on earth. Undoubtedly Satan was repeating his previous temptation to Christ when both met face to face in the desert: "All this I will give you" (Mt 4:9). Jesus discerned the danger. How was He able to resist such temptation? He would be famous, powerful, rich, and rule the world! He wouldn’t have to suffer criticism, persecution, attacks and death; He would be everyone’s hero! What was His secret? "Immediately Jesus made his disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. After leaving them, he went up on a mountainside to pray" (Mk 6:45, 46). At this crucial moment, Jesus sought to be alone with His father for added strength and to seek His Father’s approval, not the people’s.
Mt 26:36 (Mk 14:32)
In the garden of Gethsemane, He prayed apart from Peter, James and John, HIS CLOSEST FRIENDS.
COMMENTARY Going a little farther from where his three disciples were, Jesus sought to pour out his heart to the Father. This was not a public prayer; Jesus agonized with a supreme agony that no human being could ever bear or understand. This prayer was to be prayed alone. Besides, His disciples could not understand such a prayer. The words of Jesus, "if it be possible, take this cup from me" were intimate and heartfelt words that only the Father could understand.
JESUS PRAYED IN ORDER TO KEEP HIS PRIORITIES IN HEAVENLY ORDER.
Time alone spent with God helps us to keep our priorities straight.
2. Lk 6:12:
Jesus spent an entire night praying to God. The next morning, He chose the twelve disciples.
COMMENTARY: Jesus spent the entire night in prayer because He was about to make one of the most important choices in His entire life and ministry: to choose who would carry on the work that He began here on earth. But look at who He chose! Impetuous Peter; doubting Thomas; The thunderous James and John; Matthew the thief; skeptical Philip. Couldn’t He have made a better choice? Well, if He spent the entire night praying and thinking about the matter, perhaps then that they were the best men available whom He could use! On making such an important decision that would affect the entire future of the world, Jesus didn’t offer a 5, 10, or 20 minute prayer; He purposely spent the entire night communing with the Father in order to receive guidance.