Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Bible Study
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Reference:  St. Matthew 26:36-46
Focus Verses: Matthew 26:39-45

Topic:  Praying Power

Many of us have been raised in God’s House.  We have some idea of why we assemble ourselves together, but the continuity and consistency of our gatherings have not been solidified.  We have learned that the primary purpose of our gathering is to worship God.  However, Jesus declares the primary purpose of the God’s house is to serve as a place of prayer. [Reference: Isaiah 56:7; Matthew 21:12-13] Consequently, we have changed the intent and purpose for the house of God.  In addition the primary responsibility of the believer is to pray.

The lesson aim is to highlight Jesus’ efforts to provide for us an example of the solidarity of prayer to the Father.  More importantly, prayer is designed to connect the believer to the will of the Father and in response the Father will reveal HIS will to the believer. 

According to the text, Jesus has reached the end of HIS journey.  He marks this special event by returning to the place it all began, the garden.  He also invites members of HIS inner circle to accompany HIM to this grand finale.  Jesus comes to a place of serenity to share HIS inner thoughts and feelings with the Father.  The text brings to light the Lord’s position on how to access the power of God.  The context of each record recorded in the gospels is to show the importance, intensity, and integrity of praying.

What was the condition of Jesus’ mind and heart as HE approached God?

All accounts of Jesus’ weakest moments reveal the weight of bearing the sins of this world.  [Reference: Mark 14:32-42; Luke 22;39-46; John 18:1-2]  Matthew’s records give more detail than the other writers.  Matthew gives more attention to the details of Jesus’ conversation with the Father and His exchange with the disciples.

Mark 14:34-36
And saith unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death: tarry ye here, and watch. 35 And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. 36 And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt. (KJV)

Luke 22:42-44
Saying, Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless not my will, but thine, be done. 43 And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.
44 And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly: and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. (KJV )

Final thoughts:  What will it take for the church to increase its efforts to pray?