Posted in , Mar 23, 2015
If anyone exemplifies the blessed life, it is Jesus. Though he never owned a home or car and never held season tickets for his favorite baseball team (the Cincinnati Reds, in case you were wondering), he lived a singular life. A rich life. A healing life. A life filled with laughter and song. A life that exuded beauty and blessing.
If you read the Gospels–Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John–carefully, you’ll see the portrait of a man who commanded the very elements of earth and sky, wind and wave, to do his bidding.
He was supremely confident and at ease in the presence of a leper or a Roman governor. He was uncowed by demons. He was unfazed by storms. He could endure intense temptation without giving in. He could withstand violent opposition without buckling.
He could sleep through a storm. He could heal with a touch or a word. He could charm children and mesmerize crowds. He knew how to work hard, and he knew how to rest well. He owed nothing and owned little but never wanted. He constantly gave but never suffered the least diminution.
Imagine a life like that. A blessed life. The richest life there could ever be.
But how did Jesus live such a life? How did he get those riches? Was he born to such blessing? Did he bring those things with him from heaven? Were such blessings his because he was the Christ, the Anointed One, the Messiah? Or did he access those blessings in the same way we can?
I have long been convinced that the kind of power and poise Jesus showed throughout his life was the direct result not of privilege, but of prayer.
Prayer was critical to Jesus. It was essential to his connection with the Father. It was vital to the water-to-wine, walking-on-water, lunch-for-the-multitude and victory-over-sin-and-death kind of life he lived. It was the source of his ability to speak like no one else, before or since. It was the conduit by which he healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead.
I also believe that just as Jesus instructed his first disciples in prayer that would make the lame walk, open prison doors and break down barriers between people all over the world, he can also teach you and me to pray, and so change our own lives as well as the world around us.
That is why I wrote the book, The Red Letter Prayer Life: 17 Words from Jesus to Inspire Practical, Purposeful, Powerful Prayer. It explores just 17 ways by which Jesus said or showed how to pray. Like praying simply. Praying relationally. Praying practically and specifically and persistently. And more.
In it, I also share a little of my own prayer journey, by which God has changed me and drawn me closer and grown me deeper than I ever would have thought possible. I hope you’ll read it. More than that, I hope it will open a door for you, a door to a life of immeasurable blessing and beauty.