As we examine Jesus’ ministry, it becomes clear that His was not a ministry of self-will, but of prayerful discernment, a recognition that the Father was doing something, and then a willing obedience as Jesus entered His Father’s work. This applies not only to His words, but also to those instances in which He did the miraculous:
“One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing” (Luke 5:17).
Here the context makes more than clear that Jesus performed a miracle of healing. However, Luke went to great pains to record that in this instance, God’s power was present in some kind of tangible way. Those who were participating in the event—either those observing to “check Him out,” those receiving Jesus’ prayer and therefore being healed, those who were friends or relatives of those being healed, or those learning the ways of the Master by watching (as the disciples most certainly did)—had an unusual sense that “something was afoot,” that God’s power was present in a unique manner. The old Puritan writers used to call this “the manifest presence of God.”
While those times of “anointing” or “unction” are rich and profound, it has an implication. This means that there were times and seasons in which the power of the Lord was not present to perform healing—even in the ministry of our Lord and Savior.
Jesus didn’t heal automatically, or even when He had a whim to do so, based on a need of the moment. He did not have an “intrinsic” or “built-in” supply of power rooted in who He was as the Son of God. Rather, He obtained access to divine empowerment by the practice of prayerful submission.
–Adapted from Power Praying (Hearing Jesus’ Spirit by Praying Jesus’ Prayer) by David Chotka
Lord, as I consider the prayerful discernment of Jesus, my heart longs to enter into the work that You are doing all around me. When Your power is present, anything is possible. The disciples noticed this in the life of Jesus and asked Him to teach them how to tap into the source of His strength. You have given Your children access to miracle-working power as we abide in Your presence and submit to Your will. May I be an obedient disciple, yielding my heart to the instruction of Your Spirit so that each word, thought and action is surrendered to Your purposes.
Praise God for his marvelous goodness. Thank the Lord for being a refuge in times of trouble (Nah. 1:7). Confess your own failure to show goodness toward others. Commit yourself to bearing the fruit of goodness through the power of the Holy Spirit (Gal. 5:22). Ask God to enable you today to “taste and see that the LORD is good” (Ps. 34:8).
Pray that good will win out over evil in every area of our society. Ask that righteousness and justice will permeate the fabric of our culture so that God will be glorified and praised.
–Prayer Points taken from Patterns for Prayer by Alvin VanderGriend