Torch, Spring-Summer 1999

But the best study of prayer is a study of the life of our Lord. If there is anything we need to learn about prayer, He will be our best teacher. The disciples recognized this, and when they went to Him and asked Him to teach them about prayer, He taught them the Lord's Prayer. He also exemplified prayer. Perhaps the greatest prayer ever prayed came from His lips and is found in John 17. It is that high priestly prayer which ought to be a major interest in all of our lives as believers. The greatest study for all of us is the prayer life of our Lord. And at even, when the sun did set, they brought unto him all that were diseased, and them that were possessed with devils. And all the city was gathered together at the door. And he healed many that were sick ofdivers diseases, and cast out many devils; and suffered not the devils to speak, because they knew him. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. And when they hadfound him, they said unto him, 'All men seek for thee. 'And he said unto them, 'Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth' (Mark 1 :32-38, KJV). In Mark 1, we read a short vignette which illustrates Christ's attitude about prayer. On this particular evening after sunset, the people brought all the sick to Jesus. Keep this in mind; it is after sunset. It is into the night, yet they brought to Him the sick and the demon-possessed, and the whole town seemed to converge on Him at this one place. Jesus healed many from a variety of diseases and drove out many demons, but did not allow the demons to speak what they knew about Him. Afterwards, before the sun came up, Jesus arose and went off by Himself to pray. His disciples went to look for Him, and when they found Him, they blurted out, "Everyone is looking for you!" It is almost as if they say, "We can't believe you are out here doing this. Don't you know there are needs to be met and the people are clamoring for you? What are you doing out here?" Jesus' weary reply seems to be, "OK. Let's go somewhere else; let's go to nearby villages so I can preach there also. By the way, that is why I am out here by myself. That is why I have come."