Today my dad preached on Mark 6:45-52, the fairly familiar story of Jesus walking on water. But something that wasn't familiar to me at all stuck out of the sermon like a nail on a wooden plank. It comes in Mark 6:46:
"And after he [that is, Jesus] had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray."
Have you ever wondered why Jesus prayed? In Mark, it records Jesus praying only twice, once in Mark 6:46, when Jesus had to leave the crowds and go and spend some time with the Father and once more at Gethsemane, right before His betrayal and crucifixion (Mark 14:32). So why did Jesus pray? Did He need
to pray? On top of that, you may be thinking, "But I thought Jesus was God. Does God pray to God?" So what's up with this? The answer is simply that, yes, Jesus is fully God, but He is also fully man. Jesus needed to commune with the Father, just as we do. Why? Well, for one, He needed instruction,
what to say and what to do. John sheds some light on this in John 12:49, when we hear Jesus say,
"For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak."
Jesus was led by the Father in what to do through His communion with Him, through His prayers. Jesus also prayed because, as a human, He needed rest and refreshment and encouragement
, just like we do. Jesus got tired; He needed rest. Jesus even got discouraged; He needed encouragement from the Father, just like us.
So be encouraged in your prayer life! As you seek communion with the Father, remember Jesus and His perfect communion
, His perfect prayer life, that we can never achieve, yet that we can strive with all our being to emulate.