July 29 -  Prayer Life of Jesus 5

Jesus took the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke them, and gave them to the disciples to set before the crowd. ~Luke 9:16 NRSV

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Jesus rarely did His praying in front of people, unless He was asking God to meet the need of someone else. His instruction was, When you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ~Matthew 6:6

However, Jesus did seem to consistently pray publicly before eating. It was a Jewish custom to publicly bless (thank God for) food before eating, so Jesus naturally did it. However, it wasn’t a meaningless ritual for Him. By sincerely praying a prayer of thanksgiving for food, Jesus publicly recognized the Father as the source of all our basic life provisions.

Not a bad example for us to follow! 

Notice four important words used in Luke 9:16. The four words are took, blessed, broke, and gave. Read the passage above again and see how they are used. Then look at Luke 22:19, where the same four words are used in the Upper Room when Jesus gives His disciples the first “Lord’s Supper.” Then he took a loaf of bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body, which is given for you. (Lk. 22:19)
When Jesus fed the 5000 in Luke 9, He was previewing Communion! The same four words are used: Take. Bless. Break. Give!

Here’s a little side thought. Is that what Jesus does when we give ourselves to Him? He takes us, blesses us, breaks us, and gives us to other. I like that! Especially the blessing part. Not so much the breaking part. But I guess I have to be broken before I can be given.

Jesus publicly gave thanks for God's blessings, including food.
It wasn't to show how spiritual He was, but to remind Himself and others that every good thing we have is a gift from God, and gifts should be acknowledged! 

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I sometimes struggle with the publicly “saying grace” thing. I am reluctant because I fear it will make me look like I think I’m “spiritually superior” or make others uncomfortable. But I know if I pray naturally, with true thanksgiving for my blessings, that God will be pleased and honored. Help me so to do it, Father, like Jesus did. 


Click here for Part 6: July 30 -Prayer Life of Jesus 6