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1/30/22 Importance of Prayer Gospel and Word (Mark 1:35-45)

1.Jesus shows us the importance of prayer system

In the scripture reading, we can see in verse 35 that Jesus wakes up early in the morning to pray. Through prayer, he enjoys his relationship with God the father and the Spirit. In Jesus Christ, we have received everything but while we live on the earth, we need to live by God’s strength. Jesus had this spiritual rhythm and system to receive and enjoy God’s power. We’ve received God’s heavenly mandate to conquer and save the world but we need God’s power to do so, as shown in Acts 1:8.


“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”


Through scheduled prayer, we ask God for the filling of his spirit, and for Jesus to reign over our lives, and for the forces of darkness to be bound in our families. Through continuous prayer, we pray for God’s kingdom to be established and enjoy the authority of the name of Jesus Christ. As we enjoy this prayer system, Jesus is interceding on our behalf at the throne, as shown in Hebrews 7:25.


“Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.”


Our comfort is that Jesus is always interceding for us, carrying us on the path when we thought we were walking all alone. At first when we pray, it may seem like a chore, like working out for the first time in a while, but as you fall into the rhythm of prayer, you will experience being filled with God’s power.


2. Just like the leper, we were cleansed in Christ

The leper confesses to Jesus in verse 40, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.” He realizes that there is nothing in this world but Jesus that can cure leprosy. Due to its contagious properties, lepers were outcasted from society. We were made to live in perfect harmony with God, ruling over the world, but we lost all of that because of sin. We live in pain and suffering from spiritual leprosy under the dictatorship of Satan, separated from God. In verse 41, Jesus touches him and tells him “I am willing, be clean!” And immediately the man was clean. While we were strangers and enemies of God, Jesus came, paid the wages of our sin, and made us clean. If there’s a difficulty that you cannot share with anyone, don’t struggle with it by yourself but give it to God. Mark wrote these records not just to serve as stories but to remind us that we, too, can be cleansed like the leper. It may seem like God isn’t answering us, but in his time schedule, he will absolutely answer you so do not be discouraged.


3. Unlike the cleansed leper, we must follow Jesus’ words

In verse 44-45, Jesus instructs the leper to not “tell this to anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them”. However, instead, the leper goes out and talks freely, testifying about what Jesus did. Jesus commanded the leper to keep the commands of Moses, pointing to the equal importance of the word of the old testament to the new. Jesus came to fulfill the word of the old testament. Just as we see in the scripture reading, there are so many Christians who act according to their desire and standards, what they believe to be best. However, in the Christian walk of faith, we are held captive by God’s word, and we follow no one but God’s command. As a result of the leper’s actions, Jesus could no longer enter a town openly. Instead of acting according to our will like the leper, let’s submerge ourselves into the flow of God’s word, and follow his plan.


Just like the leper, when Jesus touched us, he took our sin and cleaned us. In the place of our sin, he put his righteousness in us. Jesus has resolved all of our problems on the cross and he is working and active in our lives today.


Conclusion

Like the leper, let’s confess our sickness and weaknesses to Christ and be healed. We need God’s healing, power and strength not for ourselves but to stand as his witnesses to the whole world.


Even though it may seem like praying regularly yields no answers, as we continue to develop our prayer system, we gain spiritual power and restore our spiritual state.

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