Push the Button (Hebrews 5:7)

During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. (Hebrews 5:7)

Wouldn’t it be nice to have one of those “Easy” buttons? Perhaps we already have one.

In my Composition II class at the seminary, we read a book by James Sire, Habits of the Mind. In this book, Sire relates a vexing truth about prayer for most of us. He describes an activity that involves asking participants to list all of the things they believe about prayer. What would you write? I might jot down such things as this:

  • Prayer is effective.
  • God hears our prayers directly.
  • Prayer can help me in difficult times.
  • I can bless others by praying for them.
  • Prayer often leads to healing.

If I were involved in this activity, I’d then turn the paper over and write down how much I actually pray. Think about that. If you knew that you had a direct and effective line to God, wouldn’t you use it all the time? So if we don’t use that line all the time, it suggests that either we don’t really believe that prayer is a useful thing or that we’re really stupid.

When Jesus prayed, he didn’t do it for show. This wasn’t a get-up-in-church-and-use-your-$5-words kind of prayer. We’re talking “fervent cries and tears.” Let’s think about that. If God in human form felt it worthwhile to pray earnestly and often, how much more should you and I be hitting our knees?

It’s like hitting the “Easy Button” in those Staples ads. If you had one, wouldn’t you use it? In prayer, we have an even more effective easy button, one that even Jesus himself used. Push the button.