I prayed that God would grow me in my prayer life this year. I had no clue how he was going to answer it, but I have sat in amazement at what he has done. Through emphases at the church, the opportunity to help develop a Bible study curriculum on prayer, and my time in Scripture, Jesus has been teaching me so much!
When most people think of Jesus’ prayer life, they default to his teaching that we commonly refer to as the Lord’s Prayer. They might remember the scene where he prayed in the garden, “Not my will, but Yours be done.”
Remarkably, Jesus’ prayer ministry was not isolated to one famous teaching and one memorable moment.
In fact, Jesus’ entire ministry was saturated in prayer.
Look at how these gospel writers described the prayer life of Jesus.
- Mark 1:35 [Early stages of ministry] – Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, He got up, went out, and made His way to a deserted place. And He was praying there.
- Luke 6:12 [Before making the selection of the 12 Disciples] – During those days He went out to the mountain to pray and spent all night in prayer to God.
- Matt. 14:23 [After feeding the 5000] – After dismissing the crowds, He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.
- Luke 22:39 [Before Crucifixion] – He went out and made His way as usual to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed Him.
Not only did Jesus teach on the importance of prayer, he modeled this time of prayer himself.
If Jesus saw it important enough to have a scheduled time and place to pray, how could we possibly not think it is necessary in our own lives?
When I read these examples of Jesus, it convicts me.
Think of it this way: who needs to pray more – Jesus or myself? I do.
Who prayed (and prays) more – Jesus or myself? The answer is Jesus!
While I know that Jesus actually presently lives to make intercession for us (Heb. 7:25) – a thought I cannot get over, it is amazing to look at the description of his time on earth and notice how seriously he took prayer. His life on earth was devoted to prayer. He is the perfect example!
If Jesus thought it was important to pray this much, I am deceiving myself to think I can commit to it halfheartedly.
Jesus, teach me to pray.