If someone asked you to describe the Gospel of Luke, the physician’s account of the life of Christ, what would you say?
I’d probably go with “detailed.”
Luke, like a investigative journalist, includes many details the other gospel writers leave out.
Yet, while I was reading the biography of Leonard Ravenhill … I stumbled across how Ravenhill described it:
“You could change the title of the Gospel according to St. Luke to the Gospel of prayer. It’s the prayer life of Jesus.”
I don’t know about you, but that statement makes me pause …
I know there are things in the Gospels about prayer, but “the Gospel of prayer”?
After reading the full quote (see below), I went back through the book of Luke, and sure enough, I have no idea how I missed all the focus on prayer, but I was flabbergasted and awestruck.
Here’s what Ravenhill said …
There’s nothing more transfiguring than prayer. People often ask, “Why do you insist on prayer so much?” The answer is very simple — because Jesus did. You could change the title of the Gospel according to St. Luke to the Gospel of Prayer. It’s the prayer life of Jesus. The other evangelists say that Jesus was in the Jordan and the Spirit descended on Him as a dove – Luke says it was while He was praying that the Spirit descended on Him. The other evangelists say that Jesus chose 12 disciples – Luke says it was after He spent a night in prayer that He chose 12 disciples. The other evangelists say that Jesus died on a cross – Luke says that even when He was dying, Jesus was praying for those who persecuted Him. The other evangelists say Jesus went on a mount and He was transfigured – Luke says it was while He was praying that He was transfigured. There’s nothing more transfiguring than prayer.
Ravenhill, in a separate quote, said this (which I think is a great summary): “If Jesus needed all that time in prayer, don’t you and I need time in prayer?”
I think I’m going to change how I describe the book of Luke from here on out …
And I think I’ll go spend some time in prayer.
What about you?
Know I am praying for you and cheering you ever deeper into Christ!