The Key

“In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of his piety. Although He was a Son He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:7-8
My youngest daughter and I were on our way to her elementary school on a beautiful Texas morning in September 1991. Our rides to school were always memorable. As we approached every traffic light, she would begin the chant, “GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! GREEN! GREEEEEEN!” She tried to will the lights to change to green in time for us to pass through them without stopping. That morning we were sailing through a green light, when a young lady, late for school, turned directly in front of our small Honda. In a split second, our cars collided, and smashed together, leaving the engine of my automobile crushed up under my legs. I sustained a brain concussion, leaving me stunned and semi-conscious.
While struggling to pry myself loose from the entangled remains of my car, I heard a little voice cry out, “Daddy! I’m bleeding!” I don’t recall the next few seconds, but in a flash of adrenalin, only a parent can experience, I pried my way out of the wreckage. Putting my arms around my little girl, I held her bleeding face close to my shoulder, and tried to comfort her until help arrived. Her cry moved me to remove whatever was in my way, to meet her need. Since that day, I don’t know how The Father resisted the moving cries of His Son to be saved from death for my sin, but I am so glad He did.  Can I get a witness?
It is one thing to pray. It is quite another thing to have prayers heard and answered. Jesus was heard because of His piety. This much-maligned word refers to His godly fear. Throughout Scripture those who have a fear of God are deemed to be wise. Those who are driven by a fear of man are called fools. There are only two choices. Choose wisely.
Jesus was no fool. He prayed, not out of a fear of death or a fear of man. Brave men had been crucified long before Jesus went to the cross. Some had endured it with great courage, and others had faced it in fear.  What Jesus feared was not the loss of His life, but His loss of intimacy with The Father. Sin separates the sinner from God, and when Jesus went to the cross, He would not only face death, He would carry the sins of the world on His back. Thank you, Jesus, indeed.
While Jesus was on earth, He was in constant communication with His Father, and maintained a consistent companionship with Him through prayer. It was intimate communication between the Heavenly Father and His Child, but make no mistake about it. It was intense.
“He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying, and tears…”
The prayers of Jesus were heard. What moved The Father to answer His Son’s requests was His piety. Pious praying moved The Father to release His power and authority through The Son.  Without the fear of God, prayers may be heard, but they won’t be answered with a release of God’s power. Fools wouldn’t know what to do with it.
Perhaps, the most moving prayer of all was expressed by Jesus in The Garden of Gethsemane the night before He went to the cross. It was heard, and answered, by The Father, but not in the way in which The Son initially prayed that it might be. 
Jesus prayed what was honestly on His heart, but when He was finished, He had prayed His way to The Father’s will. This is the grand purpose of prayer. Prayer is marked by a child yielding to The Father, not by a child rebelling against Him.
A visitor to that quiet garden today is unable to see the tears and the sweat that flowed from The Son so long ago, but the struggle was real. The ground was soaked with them, nonetheless.
The Father heard The Son. The key to His powerful praying was not a result of The Son’s eloquence, but His obedience. The words of Hebrews are a stunning reminder to me to keep my obedience up to date, when I pray.
“He learned obedience from the things that He suffered.”
NOTE TO SELF: The Father may not answer your prayer the way you first present it to Him. It may be because He has something greater in mind for you, than you have in mind for yourself. Jesus prayed to the One who could save Him from death. He prayed to be saved, but The Father transformed Him into a Savior. Through prayer, you are invited to yield to God’s idea. Don’t settle for your good idea. Giving up a good idea can be a struggle, and may involve suffering. You can’t skip the class on suffering, and stay in The School of Prayer. TALK LESS! PRAY MORE!