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Hebrews 5:7 – In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to the one who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered; 9 and having been made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him.”
Never in life have I prayed so loudly, with crying and tears to our Father, than since becoming age 40 and over! You middle and older agers feeling me? Haha. I’m even open to the possibility that Jesus was in his late 40s during his last 3½ years (as a possibility put forth by Bert Gary in his book Jesus Unplugged.) Of course, I don’t underestimate how much even youth today might cry loudly and with tears considering the divorce rate, student debt, politics, racial division and technological franticness of our frenzied world, just for starters!
This scripture explains why believers (you?!) might be praying in such ways or find yourself doing so ever more! Jesus came into our very own broken humanity, feeling and knowing our pain to its depths (though without sin!), sharing with us his history, his relationship in hope with his Father, since we live also in times of being “made perfect”! Jesus sharing our flesh and sending his Spirit to us from his place of Ascension certainly goes a long way in explaining why we may pray—cry loudly and with tears in this world! He came and he’s still here!
Jesus praying this way also rules out the false belief that loud crying and fervent praying has only to do with “necessity,” “being religious” or believing the Father notices, hears and answers us only if we pray in that way! Nah. As we head towards death and also toward more abundant life and salvation with Father – believing Jesus is still to come and appear quickly – we cry loudly and with tears in the Spirit, “Even so, come Lord Jesus!” (Rev 22:20).
Timothy J. Brassell
We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted. In this episode, GCI member, Kacen Malmkar shares what he likes to do at church!
“All by himself he stretches out the heavens and strides on the waves of the sea. He designed the Big Dipper and Orion, the Pleiades and Alpha Centauri. We’ll never comprehend all the great things he does; his miracle-surprises can’t be counted. Somehow, though he moves right in front of me, I don’t see him; quietly but surely he’s active, and I miss it.”
Job 9:8-11 (MSG)
I don’t know about you, but I feel that the world could do with some miracles right now. In fact, quite a few of them!
On a personal level, things happen in my life that make me stop in my tracks. Sometimes they’re small and, at other times, they’re not so small. It’s often an unexpected moment of grace, a gift that I did not see coming. It may be a word of encouragement that God sends via someone else; a thought that brings peace into my troubled mind; a crisis suddenly and inexplicably averted; an opportunity that changes my perception.
I can see how God is involved in my life, and I am thankful for it. Not that we are delivered or rescued from all of life’s trials, as Paul noted in 2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NIV), “we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
I like Albert Einstein’s statement, “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”
Let’s live the miracle.
Father in Heaven, thank you for the miracle of life. I am humbled that you care for me. And I pray in Jesus’ name.
By James Henderson
GCI Ottawa is a congregation of Grace Communion International.
This church saw an influx of immigrants coming to Canada and recognized the need to help the new immigrants become integrated into society. The church walks alongside the immigrants helping them settle into their new home country as permanent Canadian citizens.
I have never played much golf. And when I did, it showed. My friend called my approach the “hit and hope method.” And he was almost right. He thought I just hit the ball, and hoped it went in the right direction. Actually, I just hoped to hit the ball.
Much of life can be this way. What passes for hope is often wishful thinking. We hope our team wins, that tomorrow is better than today. Let’s face it – these hopes often let us down. Hence the old saying, hope makes a good breakfast, but a poor supper.
Have you ever had hopes that were disappointed? That’s something we all share.
Yet this is not the biblical notion of hope. The hope of the gospel is something far more robust, lasting and life-changing – and eternal. The hope of the gospel is grounded in the person of Jesus. Paul can succinctly say that Jesus is our hope (1 Timothy 1:1).
This is a hope not dependent on circumstances, external situations, pressures and outcomes. This is a hope that transcends all situations. It is not the absence of trials, pressures or stresses, but the assurance of Jesus’ presence in the midst of these things, and indeed every part of life. It’s a hope that never disappoints. It’s participating in the life of the “God of hope” through the power of the Spirit, a hope that inspires us, and through the Spirit creates joy and peace in our innermost being. It’s the hope in our Lord Jesus Christ that enables us to endure patiently and work energetically in love for others.
May the hope of Jesus encourage, empower and guide you.
Prayer: And may we share Paul’s prayer: May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
By John McLean
We Are GCI Series is a collection of videos where various GCI leaders and members are highlighted.
In this episode, GCI Pastor Tamar Gray shares a little about herself, why she likes to serve in GCI and in what ways she connects the most with God.