Friday, January 04, 2019

The Vision (1.4.19): Christ, A Man of Prayer

Image: The "Cenacle," a traditionally suggested site for the Upper Room in Jerusalem.

John alone records Christ’s “High Priestly Prayer” in the upper room in John 17.

In his Expository Notes introducing John 17, J. C. Ryle observes: “The chapter we have now begun is the most remarkable in the Bible. It stands alone, and there is nothing like it.”

Ryle then points out that the Puritan expositor Matthew Henry observed, “this was a prayer after sermon, a prayer after sacrament, a family prayer, a parting prayer, a prayer before a sacrifice, a prayer which was a specimen of Christ’s intercession.”

Calvin notes that “doctrine has no power, if efficacy be not imparted to it from above.” So, we learn here from Christ’s example here that the ministry of teaching (doctrine) must be accompanied by the ministry of prayer.

The prayer can be divided into three parts:

Christ’s prayer for himself (vv. 1-5).

Christ’s prayer for the original disciples or apostles (vv. 6-19 (see esp. v. 9).

Christ’s prayer for future disciples (vv. 20-26). Christ prays for us! This anticipates his intercessory office in this age (Heb 7:25).

Throughout the Gospels Christ appears as a man of prayer. Typical is Luke 5:16 which says, “And he withdrew himself into the wilderness and prayed.”

So impressed were his disciples with Christ’s prayer life that they asked him to instruct them in this spiritual discipline. Luke 11:1: “And it came to pass as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”

Christ did indeed teach his disciples what we now call the Lord’s prayer or the model prayer (see Matthew 6:9-13).

And he taught them by example through his spontaneous prayers. Compare Christ’s spontaneous prayer at the return of the 70 disciples whom he had sent out: “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in spirit, and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes: even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight” (Luke 10:21).

Christ even prayed for his enemies on the cross (see Luke 23:34).

Christ was a man of prayer, and we his disciples must “follow his steps” and be men and women of prayer also.

Grace and peace, Pastor Jeff Riddle


Mad Jack said...

Nice one Jeff. Keep up the good work!

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

MJ, thanks for the encouragement. Hope you are well!

yeoberry said...

Defending the continued use of a 400+ year-old Anglican translation based on later, corrupted manuscripts (i.e. the "TR"), is absurd. Grow up.

yeoberry said...

By the way, the "TR" is not a "confessional" manuscript. There is not one major Protestant confession that mandates the use of the TR. It's purely a matter of tradition, not confession. Sola Scriptura, however, is a matter of confession. Hence, to continue to use it the TR is to choose tradition over Protestant confessions and the Word of God.

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...

yeoberry (Pastor Carpenter?), I'm supposing you meant to post this on the WM 114 post and not on this article relating to Christ and prayer.

Holding to the TR is "absurd." I respectfully disagree.

"Grow up." I'm trying, with God's help. I used to hold to the critical text, but part of my growth has been moving to the confessional text.

Has embracing the critical text aided you in your sanctification, in demonstrating the fruit of the spirit?

If you're in the Danville area, you're not that far away. Be glad to get together and discuss with you in person sometime.

Blessings, JTR

Jeffrey T. Riddle said...


Regarding the TR as a confessional text, have you taken a look at the prooftexts listed in the Westminster Confession of Faith and Second London Baptist Confession (1689)? Which text do they use? Look, for example, at chapter 2 on the Doctrine of God and notice the appeal to 1 John 5:7 (the Johannine Comma)? Take a look also at 1:8 of both confessions. What does this say about their view of Scripture? Is it the modern, reconstructionist view or is it something else (a preservationist view)?

Read the two articles on Scripture in volume 16 of John Owen's Collected Works. Take a look at William Whitaker's "Disputations on Holy Scripture." Then, move on to some modern works. Begin with volume 2 of Richard A. Muller's "Post Reformation Reformed Dogmatics." Then, take up Garnet Howard Milne's recent "Has the Bible Been Kept Pure." You might be surprised by what you find, especially if your previous exposure has only been to Calvinistic evangelical modern critical text proponents like D. A. Carson and James White, etc.

All the best, JTR