Paul Washer’s message on prayer is one of the best, and most convicting and re-orienting, that I’ve ever heard.
Washer turns to Jesus as his model and instructor of prayer. In fact, the disciples turned to Jesus about instruction on prayer. They didn’t ask him to teach them to preach, or cast out demons, or raise the dead. They asked him how to pray. Jesus not only teaches them, but his life is a living example.
One always comes to the question, “Why did Jesus pray if he was God?” The answer we usually get is that Jesus needed to pray because he needed to depend upon God in his humanity, and because he had so much to accomplish. Rubbish, according to Washer. Jesus prayed because he loved to be in communion with God the Father. Need didn’t drive him to prayer, love did. We are commanded to the same love, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart…”
We take prayer so flippantly we ignore the clear instruction of Christ to go into your closet. We must repeatedly pull ourselves away from our surroundings to a place where we can focus without interruption.
Washer also observes that it is so easy to initiate prayer with God. The difficulty comes in persisting in prayer. We don’t know what it means to wrestle with God persistently and not loose heart. He taught this by the widow who hounded the local judge to give her justice with her adversary. This ungodly judge didn’t answer her request because he was a good judge, he answered her because she was annoying. This was taught to teach us to pray with persistence. Yet, immediately after telling this parable, Jesus wondered that when he returned to the earth whether he would find faith on the earth — faith demonstrated by persistent prayer to a listening God.
Have you ever wrestled in prayer all night for a big decision? If you haven’t, Washer says you’re a better man than Jesus.