28th December 2022
Read - Mark 6:45-46
Message - Alan Burke
“First Posted Year 2 Day 294 - 10th January 2022”
With the feeding of the five thousand over, Jesus made the disciples get on the boat and go ahead of him. If you take a quick look over to John’s gospel, 6:15 you will discover that after the feeding of the five thousand the people were intending to make Jesus king by force, so that explains why Jesus ‘made’ the disciples go. After all they were as likely to jump on the band wagon as the rest of these people for they expected an earthly king who would overthrow Roman rule. So Jesus ‘made’ them go head of him to Bethsaida.
The disciples are gone, Jesus dismisses the crowd, and as the great multitude start to disperse, Jesus leaves them and he goes to pray (46). This is something that we have seen before in Mark’s gospel, back in chapter 1 after he had healed many, while it was still dark he got up and went to a secluded place to pray. Likewise here Jesus goes off alone, to pray! We see this in the gospel of Matthew, Luke and John also. The importance of prayer is seen in the life of Christ, many of us would just be off to the next thing, but here Jesus intentionally goes, even thought he was and is in eternal communion with the Father, he still goes off to pray, for he knew that success in his ministry required time in prayer. Throughout his ministry he took time to pray to commune with God the Father. Wee question for you, you know it’s coming but I’m not asking it to guilt you, make you feel like a rubbish Christian, I’m only asking for your benefit, how’s your prayer life?
We all know that we should pray without ceasing (1 Thes 5:17), and it is such a privilege and responsibility after all we are able to commune with our creator. We here we are reminded by the actions of our saviour Jesus Christ the importance of the need to commune with our heavenly Father in prayer, for help, for him to sustain us. This is a privilege that we have, to come into the presence of the Living God to speak to him, with our hearts laid bare before him. Each time in Mark’s gospel we are told of Jesus going to pray (1:35, 6:45, 14:35-39) it was when he faced something that lay ahead, he prayed in what he faced.
The disciples saw this, in how Jesus would go to pray, go off by himself, he wasn’t like the pharisees who prayed in front of everyone who tried to gain the approval of men, no, Jesus quietly went to pray, pouring out his soul to the Father. This is why the disciples desired in Luke that he would teach them how to pray (Lk 11:1). The simple acrostic A.C.T.S. Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, Supplication, helps us to see the priority of what we should be praying to the Lord as we come to the Him in prayer. This is why we use this acrostic in these devotions. For as we come in adoration, praising him and as we do we realise out need of confession, when we have confessed our sin we overflow with thanksgiving for what God has done and then in supplication as we pray for others.
On Sunday in the sermon I will talk to the boys and girls about this, but I’m going to leave you with what I plan to say to them. “Boys and girls, do you know how to say something is great or amazing or wonderful? I imagine you do, we call that ‘adoration’. Boys and girls, I have another question, do you know how to say sorry? Of course you do, we call that ‘confession’. Boys and girls do you know how to say thank you? Try it for me, say thank you, great job, we call that ‘thanksgiving’. Last one, do you know how to ask for help? I know you do and when we ask for help in prayer for others that’s called ‘supplication’. Boys and girls, in prayer we should do these things, say Lord, your amazing, wonderful, we should say sorry for our sin, we should say thank you for what God has done, and we should as for help for ourselves and others, I know you can do all those things, when you come before God you don’t need to say big words, talk to him in prayer, adoring, saying how great he is, confessing, saying sorry, thanksgiving, saying thanks and supplication asking for help.” It doesn’t need to be complicated, keep it simple, use His word as a guide and know the privilege you have.
Q35 What is sanctification?
Sanctification is the work of God’ s free grace, (2 Thess. 2:13) whereby we are renewed in the whole man after the image of God, (Eph. 4:23–24) and are enabled more and more to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. (Rom. 6:4,6, Rom. 8:1)