In this week’s Monday Minute, Brenda shares with us 7 Steps God has shown her to pray like Jesus. Having a thriving prayer life is key to flourishing.
Lessons from the Prayer Life of Jesus
by Brenda Pace
“Some mornings I feel like if getting up early was an object, I would break it, burn it, and bury it where it could never be found again.” I read these words on a greeting card and nodded my head to concur. Anyone associated with the military knows about getting up at 0’dark thirty. If you’ve lived on a military installation Reveille has probably awakened you at sunrise or the singing of Jody calls during morning PT. For the night owl, this can be the personification of rude awakening. Scripture indicates Jesus would have fit right into the morning routine of a military installation:
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed. (Mark 1:35 )
In Mark 1:35, we read Jesus quietly rose before anyone else. His itinerary had been intense with more intensity on the horizon. In the early morning hours, he slipped away and found a place to be alone to pray. I’m drawn to this passage in Mark 1:35 because it shows the priority of prayer in the life of Jesus. Prayer was a part of his lifestyle. He not only prayed in the early morning, but Luke 6:12 documents him praying all night. The point is not the time, place, or length of prayer, but that we pray. The message through the life and words of Jesus is that we “ought always to pray and not lose heart” (Luke 18:1).
Teach Us to Pray
Have you ever wondered why one of the disciples asked Jesus, “Lord, teach us to pray…”? (Luke 11:1). He did not ask for lessons on preaching, healing, evangelizing, or casting out demons, but “teach us to pray.” Could it be this disciple made the connection between the power of Jesus and his prayer life?
While the Lord’s prayer is a model of prayer for his followers, Jesus showed by example that prayer is the number one way to flourish in our relationship with God. A simple definition of prayer is communication with God. Good communication is the foundational element of any relationship. Jesus demonstrated a pattern of good communication with the Father through his life of prayer.
How to Pray Like Jesus
- Pray for others. “…but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32.
- Pray regularly. “And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of olives, and the disciples followed him” (Luke 22:39).
- Pray before decisions. “In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles” (Luke 6:12-13).
- Pray for God’s will. “…saying, ‘Father, if you are willing, remove this cup from me. Nevertheless, not my will, but yours be done.’” (Luke 22:42).
- Pray in confidence that God hears you. “…And Jesus lifted up his eyes and said, ‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me’” (John 11:41).
- Pray alone. “But he would withdraw to desolate places and pray” (Luke 5:16).
- Pray with others. “Now about eight days after these sayings he took with him Peter and John and James and went up on the mountain to pray” (Luke 9:28).
These 7 steps to pray like Jesus are not complicated or costly, but they are powerful and valuable. Learning to pray like Jesus is the key to flourishing in our relationship with God. Which step will you take today?
“Gracious Christ, teach me to pray. For if I fall down here, I fall down everywhere—anemia spreads through my whole being. Give me the mind to pray, the love to pray, the will to pray. Let prayer be the aroma of every act, the atmosphere of every thought, my native air. In Your name. Amen.” ~E. Stanley Jones
Verses to Ponder
“In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence” (Hebrews 5:7).
“Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us” (Romans 8:34).
Janet Holm McHenry, The Complete Guide to the Prayers of Jesus: What Jesus Prayed and How it Can Change Your Life Today. Grand Rapids: Bethany House, 2018.
Jennifer Kennedy Dean offers numerous resources for prayer at: www.prayinglife.org
Operation We Are Here offers numerous prayer resources with a military focus http://www.operationwearehere.com/PrayerResources.html
Jones, E. Stanley, Abundant Living; 364 Daily Devotions, Nashville, TN: Abingdon Press, 2014, p. 368.