“Jesus gave them this answer: ‘Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does’”
— John 5:19
Armin Gesswin, founder of Revival Prayer Fellowship in California, made a statement about prayer that rocked my world. Teaching at a College of Prayer module, he stretched out his 90+ year-old finger and with gentle boldness said, “Jesus didn’t pray about things, He brought things about by prayer.”
After letting that sentence hang for what seemed like an eternity, he opened the Gospels and went to work making his point. He highlighted Jesus’ own words in John 5:17, “…My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” And then in verse 19, “…I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.”
Armin used Mark 1:35-38 as an illustration: “Very early in the morning…Jesus got up… and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed….” Peter and the other disciples assumed that He would want to continue ministering to the crowd gathering in response to the previous day’s ministry. Instead, Jesus replies, “Let us go somewhere else…so I can preach there also.” Jesus discerned through listening prayer that He was to go “somewhere else.” Jesus lived in such unity with His Father by the Holy Spirit that He was completely aligned with the purposes of the Father.
We, as Spirit-filled people, can learn to live the very same way, doing nothing by ourselves; imitating what we see the Father doing through listening, discerning, yielding and obeying. Jesus brought things about by prayer—so must we!
1. Have you practised listening prayer? Reflect on times when you were inspired to obey a prompting by the Spirit.
2. How has your prayer life led you to bring about Kingdom values or principles?