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We Learn from Jesus

And rising 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
We Learn from Jesus Book Cover

Jesus was certainly busy during his three and a half years of ministry on earth. He spent much of his time with people. He taught multitudes and healed many. He had one-on-one encounters with Jews and Gentiles. He constantly traveled with his twelve disciples. But Jesus knew that he needed to spend time with the Father. How many times do we see in Scripture where Jesus withdraws to pray? Most of the time, he is alone when he prays, spending hours, even days, in uninterrupted communication with the Father (Luke 5:16; Matthew 4:2).

Prayer with God should be a constant in our lives. We learn from Jesus’ life that there are times when we especially need to distance ourselves from everything and everyone. Certain circumstances call for intense “us and God” moments. We should withdraw to pray before we make big decisions, as Jesus did before he chose his twelve disciples (Luke 6:12–13). We should withdraw to pray during our greatest times of need for God’s strength and presence, as Jesus did before the events leading to his crucifixion (Matthew 26:36–44). We should withdraw for prayer during those times when we sense an intense attack from the enemy, as Jesus did when the devil tempted him in the wilderness (Matthew 4).

Lord, Teach Us to Pray

If Jesus needed to pray, there’s no doubt that we need to pray as well. Getting alone with God removes the distractions and allows us to focus on him. Prayer doesn’t change God, as the saying goes— it changes us. It helps us align our motivations and plans with God’s will and his plan for our lives.

What do we say to God when we pray? One day, after Jesus had finished praying, one of his disciples said, “Lord, teach us how to pray” (Luke 11:1–13). We mentioned the Lord’s Prayer in week two, but let’s revisit it as Jesus gives us this pattern for prayer. It begins with intimate words, “Our Father.” The use of the word Father implies both a familial and intimate relationship with God. And the use of  Father sets the tone of what is to follow—at the heart of every request is our dependence upon God. During the course of prayer, Jesus also instructs us to pray:

  • that God’s name continues to be honored,
  • for his will to be accomplished,
  • for daily sustenance,
  • for forgiveness of our sins as we, in turn, forgive others,
  • and deliverance from temptation.

God is not judging our prayers for how eloquent we sound or how many big words we use. He requires only a humble heart. He promises that if we come to him in faith, he will hear our petitions and answer our requests.

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Daily Question

What does your prayer life look like? Is prayer a consistent action for you? If not, what makes it hard for you to maintain consistency? Moving forward, what are some steps you think you can take to encourage more consistency?

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Comments (10)

I pray many times throughout the day in conversation with God. I pray at the end of my quiet time each morning. But I question if I pray deeply enough or long enough. Do I sit in quiet time and pray and listen? Sometimes its hard to dwell in prayer when you might not hear back right away!

This is the third day that I’ve gotten up early to spend time alone with God before everyone else is up and the house gets busy. Before this, I would do my quiet time, but the TV might be on and I could get interrupted multiple times. I also talk to God throughout the day as I become aware of requests or praises from others or I have a new one myself.

I have really enjoyed the “Pray the Word” podcast with David Platt. It gives a verse as a starting point for prayer and he demonstrates how to pray within the context of God’s will. It works as a nice starting place and then I can add in my own thoughts. I love using scripture as a starting point because it helps me focus. I just wish I did this a little more regularly. I mean, I pray every day, but it is often short snippets of me reaching out to Him as I go throughout my day.

I have been crying out to GOD more especially as my children get older and need the LORD JESUS in a bigger way I cry out to the LORD JESUS in prayer in repentance when HE shows me I have hurt someone unknowingly or if they or I just need to draw closer to HIM
I must long for others as I pray for them
How do I know if I have this longing?
I will give GOD no rest until GOD benifits others Spiritualy.
My eyes will weep bitterly for the people we are praying for.

My prayer life is a consistent action. I rise 5:00 a.m. and I am in prayer with a prayerline (M-F) and 6:00 a.m. (Saturday and Sunday). I generally have my morning devotional time after that. Praying, reading the word and singing/praising. I have found this to be vital to my day. Learned that He hears my faintest cry and that He walks and talks with me daily.

I have a prayer/devotion time first in the morning. Certainly more time is needed before starting any type of day. I have quite a bit of time to think, (too much time in fact) during my job so if the negative sneaks up on me, I pray. When I am busy with my family I don’t pray as much. That would be a definite, ‘pray more,’ time or at least after when I am thinking about the kids and their troubles. I would like to see not only more positive, thankful prayer, during the day and before I lay down at night, before the sleep takes over, I would take steps to stay on my knees and thank the Lord for the day, my family, my job and above all, God’s grace. The key for me is to start off with more time in the morning before life takes over and during the day when life is bringing me into our broken world reality.

I don’t have specific times during my day/evening when I pray. I do direct my thoughts towards him off and on throughout the day – probably more off than on though.

Moving forward, I can dedicate time everyday to pray.

That video message he preached made me weep in relief- at 50 , after 32 years of DILIGENT Type A spiritual discipline – I reached a place not of doubt but exhaustion, knowing I had reached the end of my “doing” with the awareness that there was more and how I was going about it WASNT it- and no clue how to do it differently!
This mini sermon is a LIFE CHANGER for me today- I hope IF will pass along my message to the speaker in video so he knows the impact of what he shared (and how much he made me laugh!)

My player life is more active and intense than it ever has been before. I’ve recently found God to be amazingly faithful with my prayer and that has encouraged me to turn to Him in prayer when I am in a hard moment. I’m also developing the practice of prayer with my family before meals. However, most of my prayer right now is happening silently in my mind. I really want to developed a practice of praying on my knees daily. I also would like to find consist time that I can set aside with God. Right now that time is irregular.

I need to put God first. I need to start my day off in prayer. When I fill those attacks from the enemy I need to go and be alone with my father.

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