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Lesson # Mark 1:35
Study Material - Mark 1:35
You must be in fellowship prior to your Bible study, so that the spiritual information you receive can become a source, of blessing to your soul and produce spiritual growth.
35 And in the early morning, while it was still dark, He arose and went out and departed to a lonely place, and was praying there.
The early morning, before all others were to wake up from their nightly sleep. On the day after Sabbath, the first day of the week, but not a holy day as observed by the Jews at that time. Yet Christ will arise after that third day on a Sunday morning early, at a time when we do not know and declare a new holy day. The day of the first fruits.
But more is before us here than a preview of His resurrection after the Cross. Here Jesus, as Mark presents Him, as a servant of the people, teaching and healing according to their needs, arises and goes to a quiet place for the purpose of praying. Now He did not pray to himself, nor did He pray to His mother, Mary. Nor did he pray to some Old Testament saint or prophet, or to any future saint that as yet hasn't even been born.
We should know by now that prayer is offered to only one person, and one person only, and that person is God the Father. Prayer offered to any other person, place, idol, thing, etc., is totally useless. God the Father is the ultimate authority, the author of the divine plan, the one for whom God the Son (Jesus Christ) went obediently to the Cross. God the Holy Spirit provides the sustaining power for Jesus in this life, and for each one of us in our respective spiritual lives. But prayer is not offered to the Spirit either. Jesus, in a later passage give us the entire pattern for prayer.
For now He went to a quiet place to pray. Prayer is a private matter between believer and God. Prayer is and should be conducted on the Holy ground of God and in His presence from within ones soul. By now we know that this is the concept of being in the sphere of fellowship. Public prayer, long winded prayer is generally of no use since those in hearing range probably are not in fellowship, probably have wandering minds and are thinking of something else anyway. Or the public prayer is meant to impress the people rather than communicate faithfully with God, thus promoting the ego of the one offering the prayer. Praying before athletic events won't tilt the field toward the praying party. Both teams probably pray anyway.
Effective prayer requires compliance with Gods commands concerning prayer. And they are first, being a believer in Jesus Christ. The prayer from unbelievers is useless. The only prayer God accepts from unbelievers is their faith expression in Christ. Anything else is not heard.
Second, being in fellowship. One must be in fellowship with God before a prayer is heard. An out of fellowship believer is tainted with sin in some fashion and therefore filthy dirty. God does not receive anyone into His high court when they are dirty and unwashed. Therefore you must wash yourself up so to speak, remove your shoes is another representative phrase designating the confession concept, which, by the way is a prayer in itself. In confession we list our sins to God the Father and then forget them. He restores us into fellowship, an event which we cannot feel or sense in anyway whatsoever. Prayer offered in fellowship is accepted by God.
Third, the accepted prayer must be in conformance with Gods plan for human history. Asking for human history to end now for your sake, would be denied obviously, if in fact there is still centuries remaining in Gods plan. In our own American Civil War, both sides had mature believers fighting one another. Both sides had just causes, one for a single union and united country, the other for the rights of the individual states so that a national tyranny could not overcome local sovereignty. In the long run both sides did win in some fashion as God overruled the individual prayers that certainly must have been offered before each battle, and God allowed the North to win preserving the single nation which has been so prominent in world affairs over the next century and a half. The rights of states vs. national bureaucracy continue as politics do and will continue to flip flop as politicians come and go. But God had a plan for preserving a western power for world stabilization and the spreading of Bible doctrine. Just as He did with the British in the centuries before the USA and with the Spanish before that and so forth back through history.
Fourth, the accepted prayer must conform with Gods plan for your individual life. If you are a 4 foot midget and want to play the professional basketball, you had better think again. Sure miracles happen, but....!! Better to stay in school and become a desk jockey or something.
With all of these in place there are two aspects to every prayer - the petition or that thing which you are asking for, and second, the desire behind the request. So you ask for a winning lottery ticket, because you desire the security that you perceive money will give you.
God may grant either of these parts of the prayer, or both, or deny them. You could win the money and get away from doctrine and become miserable, or God could deny you the ticket, but give you more security than you could imagine through your Bible study. By the way a real security that is very real and perceivable in your life.
So Jesus prayed. We are not given the content of the prayer at this time, but we are given the content of a later prayer, '...not my will, but thy will.' And that is the key to all prayer. Gods will and our understanding of it. Don't give up and not pray because you think that everything is predetermined, because it is not. Remember that even though God knows before hand what will happen, it is for each one of us to take charge of our lives and make our destiny happen through our daily decisions. Prayer is a powerful weapon and is commanded, by God, for us to use.
Jesus could have thought, 'Well I'm going to the Cross anyway, why pray?' But He did not take this attitude. Prayer offered to God helps us to apply the doctrine we know and thus build up our faith. God answers prayer, even more as we grow up in our spiritual lives and become more familiar with what things we need to pray for. Many of these peoples Christ has been healing, have in effect sought after prayer for their ailments, but the real answer they needed was Bible doctrine for a strong spiritual life, not just some quick fix for the moment.
A good prayer life will see you offering prayer early every morning, and in the evening before bed time to say the least. Before every meal requesting the sanctification of the food you are about to eat. Who knows where that food has been or what has happened to it before it got to your plate. Certainly confession prayer should be submitted to God more often then not in order to maintain your fellowship status throughout the day. Don't forget arrogance in your confession sin list. It is the subtlest and worst of the sins.
A prayer for Bible doctrine to be available to you throughout your life is certainly within God will for your life. And from Bible doctrine and your spiritual growth, flow all blessings. Consistent study, and everything else in life will come to you, in time.
Now is the time to post a prayer.
End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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