Pray at the Cross
James 4:1-3—Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.
Here we are putting prayer at the cross. We are learning to live and pray from a cross-centered life. Needless to say, we again follow our Lead Pastor as He role-modeled this to redemptive perfection. We must rescue prayer from self-centeredness and participate in the very life of Christ. Jesus never asked anything “amiss,” and the Father always heard Him (John 11:42). He is our example and leader.
Pray at the Cross
In his book, Bone of His Bone, F. J. Huegel writes (emphasis added):
When we come to consider prayer in the light of “co-crucifixion,” as this position may be called, we find that prayer truly comes into its own on this basis. Prayer is nothing if it is not communion, and true communion is only possible when the “old life” which cannot have fellowship with God is terminated.
The reason why many are finding prayer so unsatisfactory and the life of prayer so unattractive is because they have attempted to enter into the celestial realms of prayer in the strength of the “old man!”
True prayer can only be offered on the basis of “co-crucifixion.” This is the prime condition. “If you abide in Me and I in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.” We must be “in Christ.” But we cannot be in Christ in the fullest sense unless in the power of the Savior’s death we commit to death the “old life.”
It is when we realize our oneness with Christ in death and resurrection that prayer becomes the marvelous force that we find it was in the life of the Savior, the invincible dynamic that it reveals itself to be in the book of Acts, and the ineffable experience of the great saints of the ages. It is then that our spirits we will, liberated by the power of the cross from their fleshly and soulish entanglements, “mount up on wings as eagles.” It is then that the communion with God comes spontaneously and naturally to its fullest expression.
Prayer then becomes a working out of the will of God, and therefore must prevail—be the difficulties what they may, however staggering the problem, however great the need. It is then that the great disparity between what the Master said prayer would accomplish and the miserable caricature that is in the actual practice of millions, is removed, and prayer blossoms out in all the glory of its true nature!
Seeing prayer in the light of the cross and our participation in the Savior’s death and resurrection, we are not the least surprised over the achievements of some of the great prayer warriors of the church.
Mediate on these Scriptures for encouragement.
John 12:24—Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain.
Galatians 2:20—I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.
Galatians 6:14—But God forbid that I should boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.
Are there rights you are yet clinging to? When we come to the cross, we lay down the weapons of a rebel and desire Christ and Christ alone. We will arrive at a place where we will confess, “I can live without anything or anyone but Jesus.”
I will warn you that in Jesus ministry, the closer we get to the cross—the smaller the crowd.
Therefore, put prayer at the cross.
John 12:27-28a— Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. Father, glorify Your name.