Lesson One: Prayer Is Fellowship


Lesson One: Prayer Is Fellowship

Matthew 26:6 Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper,
7 There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

Mary’s spontaneous act of love and worship is memorialized through the ages. We are all familiar with this beautiful story. How perfect her worship was; how pure her love for Jesus! Mary’s act of devotion is also the perfect expression of prayer.

How would you define prayer? Some people see prayer as a necessary religious ritual. For others, prayer is a laundry list of requests. Many of us experience prayer as a boring and tedious obligation. As Mary so eloquently expressed, prayer is much more than these. Prayer is intimate fellowship with our Savior. Prayer is worship. Prayer is a love song to Jesus.

In order to experience the beauty and power of effective prayer, we must change the way we view prayer. Have you ever been in love? Do you remember the eager anticipation of every moment you spent with your Beloved? The agony you felt when you were apart. He was on your mind every moment of your day and fill your dreams at night. And when you were with him, the joy almost hurt as it fills your whole being.

That is what Mary felt as she poured the spikenard over her Beloved’s feet. Those tears were tears of joy. Mary did not care who saw or who criticized. She was in the presence of the One who filled her heart. That is the experience of prayer.

When we worship publicly, we are part of a corporate celebration. It is somewhat like a family reunion. When my great-grandmother was alive, every family reunion centered around her as the matriarch of our clan. Jesus is the center of our assemblies. Corporate worship is joyful indeed. But nothing can take the place of the sweet, tender intimacy of the prayer closet. There, we are alone with the Beloved, holding hands, whispering confidences. How wonderful that the God of the Church is also the God of the saint. Jesus did not just die for his Bride, he died for me. In prayer, we conduct our personal relationship with the most important person in our lives.

Sometimes we tend to think of personal prayer as secondary to attending church or giving time and money to God. Sadly, we sometimes think of it as an optional addition to our Christian lives; meant for those who are spiritually superior. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Not only is prayer available to every Christian; it is essential to salvation. It is the foundation of being a Child of God; we will not make heaven without it.

Can you imagine being married and never spending time alone with your husband? How long do you suppose that marriage would last? What if the only time your husband ever said, “I love you” was when he wanted something? If communication is essential to a marriage, it is essential to maintaining a relationship with our Lord. In fact, prayer is much more essential than we often understand.

Prayer is the underpinning for everything spiritual in our lives. Without prayer, our church attendance is merely participation in a social club. Without prayer, we will never understand our purpose for being on earth at all. When you see a Christian who is always offended, and never feels others in the church are treating them right, you see a person with no prayer life. And that person whose anointed ministry you admire – she found it in the place of prayer.

It cannot be emphasized too strongly. EVERYTHING spiritual begins in prayer. Do you need a financial blessing? You cannot wait to develop a personal relationship with Jesus until you need something. That relationship must be already developed before the need arises. Do you want to be used of God? God chooses those for service whose heart is in tune with his. This happens in prayer.

If you want to feel the Spirit in the worship service, you must learn to feel it on your knees. If you want to have peace in the storm, you must pray through the storm. All the blessings of salvation come from spending time with the Savior.

Prayer is not only important, prayer is a privilege. It is a joy. Have you ever imagined what you will do when you meet Jesus face to face? Have you longed to spend time with him and ask him deep questions? Well, you can. God has designed prayer to be a loving, intimate place where you can be alone with him. In the place of prayer, each of us takes priority in God’s agenda; we have his ear. God delights in our time with him and he always listens. He never gets impatient at hearing the same needs over and over. He is never too busy to stop and listen. He is saddened when we neglect him.

God longs to share his intimate secrets with us, but he cannot share with us if we do not share with him. What beautiful revelations we might have received if we had given him first place in our time!

Jesus is waiting to hear from you. He longs to bless you and teach you. He wants to hear every problem and every dream. Your Savior wants to be your best friend. Don’t keep him waiting!


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