Covenant Membership (Part 2): Prayerfully Dependent

What Does It Mean to Be Prayerfully Dependent?

Understanding Our Church Covenant Agreement

While some of us tend to be too independent, many people have an unhealthy dependence on others. If we were to map out your dependence on others, where would it fall? Are you a loner or are you codependent?

When we look at the church and consider what community should look like, we definitely see a dependence upon one another (Acts 4:32–35). However, there is also a clear expectation to provide for yourself and your own family (1 Timothy 5:8). In light of those two passages, how do you know when you are getting it right? While I may not be able to solve that dilemma today, we can know how dependent we should be on God for all things in our lives.

Jesus said many things about prayer during His ministry, and we should certainly read and study them. However, I think it may be just as important for us to observe His actions surrounding prayer. The following observations were adapted from an article by Robert Velarde, who is an author and theologian. The article can be found through this link: 

When we observe the prayer life of Jesus, what do we see?

  1. Jesus prayed for others. He prayed for the little children, He prayed for His disciples as He was about to ascend into Heaven, and He prayed for those who were driving the nails through His hands into the cross.
  2. Jesus prayed with others. He took Peter, James, and John up on the Mount of Transfiguration to pray. He took His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane and asked them to join Him in prayer.
  3. Jesus prayed alone. When facing big decisions and even in the midst of the busyness of His ministry, Jesus took time to get alone and go to His Father in prayer.
  4. Jesus prayed regularly. When illustrating Jesus's frequency of prayer, Luke used the word "often" (Luke 5:16). There was a pattern to Jesus's frequency of praying... He did it with regularity, not just when He had a perceived need, but on a regular basis.
  5. Jesus prayed like He knew the Father intimately.  Primarily because He did know the Father intimately. We see a pattern of Jesus praying like He knew who He was praying to... like He was having a heart-to-heart conversation. There was never a distant, cold feeling when Jesus prayed to God the Father.
  6. Jesus prayed based on His knowledge of God and the truths of His Word. Jesus knew who the Father was and when He prayed, it was with the truths that had been revealed about God. In other words, Jesus approached prayer with a biblical world-view.
  7. Jesus prayed knowing that all of His prayers would not be answered. Think of Jesus in the garden. He asked for the cup (God's wrath that would be poured out upon Him) to be taken away from Him. We know He knows because He finished that prayer with these words, "Nevertheless, not my will, but yours, be done."

"When we pray the way Jesus prayed, we are showing that we recognize our need to be led by, provided for, comforted through, and corrected by means of our prayers to God."

So, what does all of that mean for us? And what does it have to do with us being "Prayerfully Dependent" as a Covenant Member of Mount Carmel Baptist Church. Perhaps this question will help. If Jesus felt the need to pray and prayed often, do you and I need to pray and pray often? We both know the answer to that question is, "Of course we do!"

When we pray the way Jesus prayed, we are showing that we recognize our need to be led by, provided for, comforted through, and corrected by means of our prayers to God. Think of praying as both surrender and dependence. We are confessing that we cannot do life in our own strength (independence), and admitting that God is uniquely able to provide for us by placing our trust in Him to do so (surrender).

Here is what we say about being prayerfully dependent in our covenant:
The word, humble, is something we don't often use about ourselves. True humility seeks to bring glory and honor to God and looks out for the interest of others. Our human nature does not naturally point us towards humility, but pride or selfishness. Paul would not have had to command us to "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility consider others as more important than yourselves. Everyone should look not to his own interests, but rather to the interests of others." (Philippians 2:3–4). The greatest example of humility we have is Jesus. He willingly went to the cross and gave up His life as the payment for our sin. So, when we say a "humble dependence" on God, that means that you fully submit and surrender your life to Him. You depend on Him to provide everything and guide you in everything.

As a church, we go to the Father, just as Christ did. We pray with each other, for each other, when we are alone, throughout each day, like we have intimate knowledge of who he is, based on the truths we see in the Scriptures, and we depend on Him to give us exactly what we need, not want, whenever we ask. Knowing that He alone is capable and He alone is faithful. This creates a trust amongst the Body of Christ when we see each other humbly dependent upon God for all things in our lives. I believe that God is honored by His people surrendering to Him in total dependence and that He will pour out blessings and give us strength and courage to do all that He has commanded when we are prayerfully dependent.

I would love to hear from you and/or answer any questions you may have. Please feel free to leave your thoughts or comments here, or reach out by sending me a text or email.

Grace and Peace,
Pastor Bo

1 Comment

Yvonne - April 9th, 2024 at 6:38am

What a great reminder of the need to have prayer as a priority in our lives. We need to follow the example Christ had given us.