We cannot help conforming ourselves to what we love. (Francis of Sales)
Jim Redmon’s 26-year-old son was favored to win the 400 meter race in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics. Halfway into his semifinal heat, a fiery pain seared through his right leg. He crumpled to the track with a torn hamstring. As the medical attendants approached, Redmond fought to his feet. He set out hopping, pushing away the coaches in a crazed attempt to finish the race. When he reached the stretch a big man pushed through the crowd wearing a T-shirt that read, “Have you hugged your child today?” The man was Jim Redmond, Derek’s father. “You don’t have to do this,” he told his weeping son. “Yes, I do,” Derek declared. “Well then we’re going to finish it together.” And they did. Arm in arm they finished the race, sharing a wonderful moment of friendship together as multitudes watched on television. Their love for one another made a mark on the world that will be remembered for generations. Like Derek Redmon and his dad, Jesus walked through life—arm in arm—with His Heavenly Father.
One day as Christ was praying, the disciples were near observing His behavior and hearing how He talked with God. When He ceased praying, one of them asked Him (Luke 11:2), “Lord, teach us to pray.” Jesus said to them, “When you pray say, “Our Father….” It dawned on Christ’s followers as they listened to Him, and saw the power that was demonstrated in His life, that Jesus shared a personal relationship with God. Christ’s love for God was attractive and the disciples wanted to pray like Jesus. They wanted to know God like Christ knew Him.
“The disciples had been watching Jesus and had come to know that His prayers were always heard; and that the continued source of His power and utter freedom from pride came through secret prayer. This created a hunger in them to know how to pray, so they asked to be taught” (F.J. Dake). Christ revealed the secret of His dynamic prayer life in two simple words—Our Father. The key to effective prayer is understanding the fact that answers to prayer are based on relationship. “Many do not grow in faith … because they neglect the love of God—and the love of God is the end. We need neither art nor science for going to God. All we need is a heart resolutely determined to apply itself to nothing but Him, for His sake, and to love Him only—to walk arm in arm with Jesus (Nicolas Herman).