Praying Like Jesus

10 Sep

If you’ve been visiting this site recently you may have noticed I’ve been absent. In the mean time I started my first job and have been using my commute to listen to some sermons. Amongst those sermons have been Mark Driscoll’s Pray Like Jesus series.

Many people have questions about prayer but few are willing to open up to what the scripture puts forward as an example for prayer. Here are a few things that Jesus did that we should copy:

1. Jesus Withdrew to Pray

In John 6, Jesus has 5000 people listening to his every word. What does he do? After a day of preaching he withdraws to pray.

Prayer is the powerhouse of ministry, if we aren’t praying we aren’t going to be effective preachers of the Gospel. Yet too often Christian busy-ness takes us away from the serious business of prayer. Sometimes we must withdraw to pray.

2. Jesus Prayed Before Big Events

In Luke 6 we see Jesus pray before he chooses the 12. In Gethsemene, we see Jesus pray before he is to die on the cross. Jesus prayed before big events in his life. If Jesus needed help, then we do too.

3. Jesus Prayed for Others’ Faith

Jesus said to Peter “I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail”. Too often we pray only for others’ physical circumstances, when they are sick or going through a tough time. This is all well and good, but not an immediate concern.

Jesus interceded for Peter’s spiritual state. This was a matter of heaven or hell. When was the last time you prayed for people in your church’s faith?

4. Jesus Prayed When Suffering

When about to go the cross Jesus desperately needed God’s help. He spent hours discussing this pain with God. The Psalms too are filled with lament. We should be driven to God, not from God in suffering.

5. Jesus Prayed Your Will Be Done

Did it ever occur to you the answer to Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemene was “No”. He asked to not have to die on the cross through the pouring out of God’s wrath. But he did. If Jesus was answered “No” we will too.

Too many prayer books, sermons and articles give a “How to” guide to get what you want from God. Yet if that didn’t work for Jesus it won’t for you. The most important prayer you can pray is that prayer of submission: God I would like this, but your will be done because you know what’s best.

Let’s start to pray more like Jesus shall we? Let’s submit to God’s will and live a life of Christ-like prayer.

(Picture “the prayer continued by Darren Larson under the Creative Commons Licence)

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One Response to “Praying Like Jesus”

  1. Clark Bunch September 20, 2008 at 12:42 am #

    Here’s one that American Christians might find difficult: Jesus went out early in the morning, while it was still night, and prayed.

    Prayer was always very important to Jesus during his life and ministry on earth, increasingly so as his time grew short. We often make the mistake of thinking that working in ministry or drawing closer to God excuses us from spending time in prayer. No one could be closer to God than Jesus, but he devoted much time and energy to prayer. That’s definitely an example we should take note of.

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