How to Pray like Jesus: Praying did not make Jesus Passive
For some reason- maybe we assume a virtue of spirituality- we have been led to believe that once we pray we don’t have to do anything. We think that devotion to God and human responsibility are mutually exclusive. No so. Jesus was never passive even though he prayed long and often, and neither should we be.
Just because we have prayed doesn’t equate to, God, get to work, and do it sooner than later. If we’re honest with ourselves do we at times think that way? We prayed and God acts, right isn’t that how it works
St. Augustine “Pray as though everything depended on God. Work as though everything depended on you.”
Our text today will illustrate what St. Augustine said about prayer. Jesus teaches inactivity and passivity isn’t apart of prayer. The context of these verses fit into a larger scope involving Matthew 24:36-25:46 called the Mount Olivet Discourse.
1. The MOD is the last of Jesus teachings before the cross and he is instructing his disciples, focusing on attitudes and character qualities that will guide them through the difficult times they are going to face after he is no longer with then physically.
a. Throughout the discourse two very important things need to be kept in tension. These two things appear to be Jesus’ primary intention in this discourse.
i. Suddenness- The suddenness of the return of the Son of Man runs through the entire discourse.
ii. Paul spoke of Jesus return as being sudden – I Thess 4:13-18
1. Paul implies that Jesus could come at anytime and catch believers away.
2. The appearance of the Lord in the parables in the MOD is sudden and with no warning.
3. For us who are centuries removed from this period of time when Jesus taught these things to his disciples. These teachings are still relevant and a crucial feature of our discipleship, which is awaiting His return, which will arrive suddenly.
a. Suddenly –it will be too late for you to be prepared; do not get caught with your shorts down.
b. Don’t be like the lazy servant who thought he had time before his master returns “ I’ll do it tomorrow”
iii. The second aspect that needs to be kept in mind regarding this discourse is the word “Preparedness”
1. Preparedness is a word that most Utahans know very well-meaning: never to be caught off guard, having enough food, water and ect to help you until someone can rescues you especially when a disaster hits the area.
2. The theme preparedness runs through the discourse.
a. 24:37-39 people didn’t realize what was going to happen…
3. Whether in peace or trouble, all believers throughout this age are guaranteed that we will experience both.
a. We must be prepared for the Lords return regardless of our circumstances.
b. Each parable found in this discourse emphasizes different aspects of preparedness.
i. The parable of two kinds of servants: focusing on faithfulness as ones responsibility in being prepared for the Lord’s return. Responsibility – 24:45-51
ii. The parable of the Ten Virgins: this parable advances the themes watchfulness and faithfulness to include Readiness – 25:1-13
iii. The parable of the talents: Jesus continues his teaching about the profitable character qualities of those who await for his return. Now the preparedness of those who await his coming of the Son of Man is fleshed out in productiveness and industriousness, where faithfulness in service accompanies watchfulness: Productivity- 25:14-30
2. Judgment at the End: Accountability- 25:31-46
a. The final scene in the MOD is where we will be spending the remainder of our time.
b. Up to this point Jesus has addressed two basic issues.
i. In the first part, he gave a running account of the events that would accompany his return as the Son of Man (24:4-35)
ii. In the second part, through sayings and parables, he teaches various lessons on watching, waiting and being prepared for his second coming (24:36-25:30)
iii. In this third part, Jesus gives promises of reward and warning of judgment that will accompany his glorious return.
iv. The entire emphasis is on getting your life prepared for His Return.
3. Are you ready for His Return it will be sudden and you need to be prepared, get your life in order.
a. James 5:8
b. Jude 1:14-15
c. Rev. 1:7