"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit" Ephesians 6:18
The prayer life of Jesus is a perfect example of how our personal prayer lives should be. What better person to learn from than our own dear Savior? Of course, He gave us an example of how to pray in Matthew 6:9-13 (what we know as the Lord's prayer), but we also have the privilege of reading about the personal prayer life of Jesus Christ. First of all, I don't believe that the Lord's prayer was meant to be some kind of chant for us to say. Jesus said, "After this manner therefore pray ye" not "repeat after Me." It was simply an outline to follow. Now I don't think that it's necessarily wrong to pray the Lord's prayer; we just need to make sure that we're sincerely speaking to the Father and not just robotically chanting the words. We should still pray for the things in this prayer such as God's will to be done, our daily necessities, and deliverance from temptations. Another thing Christ taught His disciples is persistence in prayer. In Luke 18:1-8, He shared a parable about a widow constantly going to the judge with a request and explained how we should constantly go to the Father in prayer. He also taught about not using unnecessary repetitions and saying things just so others hear. We shouldn't try to use eloquent phrases just to make us sound smarter to others, trying to make people think we're better at praying or closer to God than we really are. If we do have a close relationship with the Lord then we should have heartfelt prayers, as long as we're not trying to make ourselves look good. Jesus' prayers were very heartfelt since He had such a strong relationship with the Father. Now let's dig a little deeper into what the Bible reveals about the prayer life of Jesus Christ. The 17th chapter in the book of John is one of Jesus' prayers. In the first verse I notice that He "lifted up His eyes to heaven" - it's interesting to know that He didn't bow His head and close His eyes as most of us are used to. I also noticed that at the end of His prayer He didn't close with "Amen" either. I also saw that Jesus usually seemed to pray outside, in the midst of God's creation. I find that when I pray outside, it can be easier to stay focused because all the man-made obstructions aren't 'pressing in' on me. Anyway, in His prayer we can see that He prayed for Himself, immediate disciples, and all other believers (including us!). He prayed for Himself in Gethsemane that the cup might pass from Him (Matthew 36-44) and He prayed for Peter to remain faithful (Luke 22:32). Jesus seemed to go off on His own to pray quite frequently (Matthew 26:36, 39; Luke 5:16, 6:12) This shows us the importance of private prayer. In Matthew 6:6, He said to, "enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret." We should still come together as believers and pray to God. Jesus was a good example for us to follow considering how much to pray. He prayed very often and enjoyed it. He was communing with His Father and we should also enjoy it when we talk with our heavenly Father. Jesus even "continued all night in prayer to God" (Luke 6:12). How long have we spent in personal prayer? Are we praying because we truly want to spend time alone with God? It seems that when in prayer for a long (or even short!) period of time, our minds begin to wander, but this shouldn't stop us. We might need to make a list of what to pray about or something so we stay focused - this can be difficult at times. Last thought: Since Jesus is God, then why did He need to pray? The trinity consists of three separate persons, so maybe He just wanted to communicate as God the Son to God the Father. Also, I believe that He prayed as an example to His followers. I know that I fail greatly in my prayer life, but I strive to please Him and commune with Him as I should. We've been so wonderfully blessed with records of the prayer life of Jesus. May we all strive to become more like Him in all areas of life, including our personal prayer time!
"Pray without ceasing." 1 Thessalonians 5:17
I'm a twenty one year old Christian saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Jesus Christ alone, for the glory of God alone. Praise the great name of our glorious Savior!!
Go serve your King!"