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Devotions > Intimacy with God: Power in Prayer

13 Feb 2011

Do you think it an accident that we find in the context of Jesus' answer to our weariness the promise that Jesus will reveal the nature of the Father to those He wills?  [to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known ]

Let’s look carefully at the promises Jesus made to us to refresh us and to enable us to work without excessive weariness or burden.

Matthew 11:27-30 (AMP)    (underlining added for emphasis)

27 All things have been entrusted and delivered to Me by My Father; and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Son except the Father, and no one fully knows and accurately understands the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son deliberately wills to make Him known.

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]

29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest (relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet) for your souls.

30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

 It seems like throughout time the good plan of God has been for fathers, whenever possible, to bring security, peace and rest to their sons.    It seems to follow that the one that "the Son deliberately wills to make Him [the Father]known" may be the very same seeking one that has chosen to come to Jesus taking His yoke upon him.    This must be akin to the idea of seeking the face of God that we are so often persuaded to pursue.  These activities, revealing to us the nature of our Father by Jesus, and our coming to Jesus to take on His yoke and learn from Him , are at the essential core of an intimate relationship with God.

Jesus, when He speaks to the overburdened one, seems to be speaking to the one who has chosen to work for Him, but to an extent, his chosen method of working is not working.   But rather, his working method is causing discouragement and fatigue resulting in frustration and exhaustion. 

 Stop here and reflect for a moment.   Can you think of a time or times in the past few months that you have had a bone-tired weariness in your soul?    Can you remember times where your heart was completely captured with resentment or frustration directed against some individual or situation?  Or perhaps you have experienced your heart growing toward a all encompassing yet somewhat ethereal sense of fear?

We may make an attempt to put on the yoke of Jesus but stop short of the truth that the purpose of putting on His yoke is to learn from Him how to work.   The yoke is an instrument of work.   Its purpose is to unite in work [teamwork] and to teach and train the inexperienced worker.   We often have the idea that if we are tight with Jesus, whatever that may mean, our work will be easier.   While this generalization is no doubt true, from Jesus’ words, we are specifically directed to learn, to learn how to work. 

If we truly begin to learn gentleness and humility from being yoked to Jesus this learning will not only help us work effectively, but will very likely help us defeat our strong propensity to forget to put on Jesus’ yoke in the first place. 

We quite naturally we think that work is up to us.   In God’s economy the real work is up to Him.   Oh yes, we must show up and punch in, but when we are rightly yoked in humility and gentleness, it is as if we are being pushed around the factory in Jesus’ wheelbarrow.   He takes us where we need to go and tells us what to do or say, while providing both the means to get there, the words to say, and the resources to give.  And as we relax and reflect we realize that He had gone ahead of us yesterday preparing the way for our work today.

The kind of learning that is combining a consistent intimacy with the Father and is coming to  Jesus, always and instantly in His yoke, brings genuine gentleness and authentic humility which results in intense intimacy.    This intimacy, an increasing knowledge of the nature of the Father, while learning and integrating the working methods of Jesus in to every aspect of our lives, is no doubt a firm foundation for the righteousness that James speaks about in his promise:  the fervent prayers of a righteous man avail much.

True intimacy engenders the kind of praying [work] that is heard by the Father, the Father we are getting to know and by Jesus from Whom we are learning.   May God work in us to enable us to pray more and more from the deep intimacy of gentle love and humility!   This kind of praying may be a description of theearnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man thatmakes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]?

 This week, as we fervently pray for revival, let’s pray from the position of intimate yoking with and learning from Jesus and in intense unity with the Father of lights from Whom every good and perfect gift comes down.   There is no doubt that our great and gracious God will soon answer our prayers for revival prayed with an intimate and obedient heart!


Jeff Williams