When Jesus Prayed Part #1
“Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” Lk 5:16 NIV If you want to know about prayer, examine the life of Jesus: (1) He prayed when the pressures of life increased. “News about him spread…so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed…But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (vv.15-16 NIV). It’s when you think you don’t have time to pray, that you need to pray most. Spending time with God is the secret to having power with Him. (2) He prayed when important decisions had to be made. When it came to picking His closest friends, Jesus sought His Father’s guidance. He “went out to a mountainside…and spent the night praying to God. When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve…[as] apostles” (Lk 6:12-13 NIV). When you really think about it—the truth hits you up the side of the head! We can spend a year, not to mention a small fortune, planning a wedding. Yet amazingly we won’t seek God’s guidance when it comes to choosing a mate to spend the rest of our life with. God is not just the creator of the universe; He’s the CEO who runs it. Can you imagine what He knows about operating a successful business? His résumé reads: “I am the Lord…Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go” (Isa 48:17 NKJV). Before you hire an employee, form a partnership, formulate a plan, or invest a penny, God invites you to discuss it with Him and get His input. “Listen for God’s voice in everything you do…he’s the one who will keep you on track” (Pr 3:6 TM).
“He went…to a solitary place; and…prayed.”
Mk 1:35 NKJV
WHEN JESUS PRAYED Part #2
By failing to pray—you set yourself up to fail. The reason Jesus never failed is because He never failed to pray. Note the times when He prayed: When His heart was heavy. During His ministry on earth, His cousin John the Baptist was arrested and publicly beheaded for confronting a king about his sin. “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew…privately to a solitary place” (Mt 14:13 NIV). Disappointment, desertion, divorce, and death will write their chapters in the book of our lives. Thank God for therapists and doctors, but ultimately there’s no one who can heal a broken heart like God. “He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds. He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name. Great is our Lord and mighty in power” (Ps 147:3-5 NIV). Whether placing stars or healing scars, no situation is too big or too small to get the attention of our loving God. To understand God’s healing expertise, look at the life of Job. No one in history lost more than Job did, yet God brought him through it all. In Job chapter eleven we read: “You will forget your misery; it will be like water flowing away. Your life will be brighter than the noonday. Even darkness will be as bright as morning. Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help” (vv. 16-19 NLT). Are you sad and heavy-hearted today? Do what Jesus did. Take time to pray about it.
“He departed to the mountain to pray.”
Mk 6:46 NKJV
WHEN JESUS PRAYED Part #3
Let’s look at another point at which Jesus prayed: When the pressures and expectations of others threatened to derail God’s plan for His life. The Bible says: “While it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.’ So He traveled throughout Galilee, preaching” (Mk 1:35-39 NIV). The lesson here is this: Unless you get God’s plan and stick with it, others will try to plan your life for you. Given the success Jesus enjoyed in every town He visited, many preachers would have stayed and built a church and enjoyed the accolades and rewards of their ministry. Not Jesus; He marched to the beat of a different drum. As you look back on some of your mistakes, you find decisions made in response to pressure instead of prayer. When you’re prayer-less you get careless. God has a plan for your life, and a schedule. To stay in sync with both you must pray regularly. Jesus realized He had only enough time to do what His Father wanted done, and that gave Him the ability to say no to other things. You’ve been called to love people—but please God. And your confidence in prayer comes from knowing you’re operating within His will (See 1Jn 3:21-22 NIV).
Until next time, stay blessed & encouraged. God bless you all 🙂