The Prayers of Jesus (Part 1): Practice

The Prayers of JesusText: Luke 11:1

In our text, Jesus’ disciples asked Him to “teach [them] to pray.” In the context, Jesus went on to give them a model prayer – “the Lord’s Prayer.” However, there is another way that Jesus teaches about prayer – through His example. In this lesson, we will see what we can learn about Jesus’ practice of prayer.

Jesus Took Time to Pray

  • Our lives can be very busy – it can be hard to find time for things we know are important (like prayer)
  • Jesus prayed often (Luke 5:16)
  • Jesus also prayed at length in one setting (Luke 6:12)
  • We are to “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17) – it must be a regular habit; therefore, we must take time for it (cf. Ephesians 5:16)

Jesus Was Deliberate in Prayer

  • Even if we pray regularly, we may sometimes be unfocused, aimless, or mechanical
  • Jesus prayed the same thing three times (Matthew 26:44) – not vain repetition (Matthew 6:7); He was sincere and earnest
  • Jesus was intensely focused when He prayed (Luke 22:44)
  • Jesus prayed “alone” even when “the disciples were with Him” (Luke 9:18) – not distracted by His surroundings
  • We are to pray with our minds (1 Corinthians 14:15) – be thoughtful in prayer

Jesus Found Quiet Places to Pray

  • While it is possible to pray “alone” even in a crowd (Luke 9:18), there is an advantage to praying in a quiet place
  • Jesus regularly did this (Matthew 14:32; Mark 1:35; Luke 5:16)
  • While there is a place for public prayer, most of our prayers ought to be private (Matthew 6:6) – we can approach God through Christ (Hebrews 4:16; 1 Timothy 2:5, 8); we need to take advantage of this

Jesus Prayed During Times of Grief

  • When we face difficult times, we need to turn to God in prayer
  • This is what Jesus did (Matthew 26:36-44) – facing His hardest challenge (the cross), He faced it in prayer
  • When we are suffering, we are to pray (James 5:13) – context is about physical sickness, but the principle applies more broadly; through prayer our anxieties can be turned to peace (Philippians 4:6-7)

Jesus Prayed Prior to Spiritual Labor

  • Before engaging in some spiritual activity, it is good to first pray to God
  • Jesus took time to pray prior to preaching (Mark 1:35-39) and before selecting the apostles (Luke 6:12-13) – He always spoke the things from the Father and was one with Him (John 8:28; 10:30); but this helped set an example for us
  • Paul requested prayers for him and his preaching (Ephesians 6:19) – this is good for us; when we pray in this way, we are reminded of our responsibility to God (2 Thessalonians 1:11) and of our dependence upon Him (Matthew 6:11-13)

Conclusion

  • Prayer needs to be an important part of our lives as Christians
  • If we follow Jesus’ example, we can make the most of our time in prayer

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