Before the Cross – Easter Devotional 14

Jesus was a man; fully human just like you and me. He experienced our trials and travails, and like our lives His was marked by “many dangers, toils and snares.” He was “at all points tempted like we are, yet without sin.” And as we, He “learned obedience through the things that He suffered.”

Even when God was silent Jesus prayed and “offered His prayers through loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death….” And so must we sometimes pray.

Prayer sometimes is offered from the sweet times of fellowship as depicted by the hymnist who wrote, “I come to the garden to pray, while the dew is still on the roses.” But often prayer is not offered from a dew-laden garden with the fragrance of roses surrounding us, but from the crucible of suffering and questions.

Jesus modeled both for us. He met often and early in the morning with His Father in the dark corners of Gethsemane and the secret places among the rocky Galilean hillsides. But His prayers were also spoken and cried from the cross amidst the worst of suffering and the deepest of questions.

Prayer is not a peacetime weapon, but one fashioned for the battlefield of life. Casual praying frankly will not do when the enemy is firing on you. We must learn, like Jesus, to “offer our prayers to Him who is able to save us from death.”

Only then will we truly understand how important it is to “pray without ceasing.”

For Meditation: During His earthly life, He offered prayers and appeals with loud cries and tears to the One who was able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverence.    Hebrews 5:7

For Reflection: Sometimes our prayers are offered, not just in the silence… but in spite of it.


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