Summary: You can do much after you pray, but you accomplish nothing spiritually without prayer
Note: The Bible by Jesus will be used throughout this lesson unless otherwise noted after each Bible reference.
A. PRAYER WAS FOUNDATIONAL TO MY MINISTRY
1. I had so much to do in ministry that I spent time in prayer before, during and after.
2. I had pressure from the crowds, satanic opposition, the Pharisees and the agenda of His disciples, but I prayed.
You can do much after you pray,
But you accomplish nothing spiritually without prayer.
3. Prayer reflected My relationship with the Father. “I was baptized and as I was praying, the Holy Spirit came down on Me in bodily form as a dove . . . a voice from heaven, ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased’” (Luke 3:21-22).
What a man is alone with God; that is what he is. Nothing more, nothing less. ~Robert Murray M’Cheyne
4. Prayed before choosing 12 apostles. “I continued all night in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12).
B. PRAYER CHARACTERIZED MY LIFE AND MINISTRY
1. Before feeding the 5,000. “I took the loaves and when I had given thanks” (John 6:11).
2. Before raising Lazarus. “Father, thank you for hearing Me” (John 17:41, NLT).
3. Before healing. “Great multitudes came together to hear . . . and be healed . . . He withdrew Himself . . . and prayed” (Luke 5:15-16).
4. Before walking on water. “Jesus made His disciples get into the boat . . . He went up into the hills to pray . . . Jesus came to them walking on the water” (Matt. 14:22-25, NLT).
5. I blessed the elements at the Last Supper. “I took bread and blessed it” (Matt. 26:26).
6. When speaking, I broke into prayer, “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever” (Matt. 11:25, NLT).
C. JESUS PRAYED AT HIS DEATH
1. I gave thanks for the death he faced. “Then I took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, ‘Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins’” (Matt. 26:27-28).
2. I prayed forgiveness. “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 23:34).
3. Jesus prayed when He became our sin. “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me” (Matt. 27:46).
a. I couldn’t call Him Father.
b. From My anguish, I suffered your hell (not in time, but in intensity).
4. I prayed Calvary’s benediction. “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30).
5. I breathed My last prayer. “Into Thy hands I commend My Spirit” (Luke 23: 46).
D. MY PRAYER INTENSITY
1. I didn’t consider prayer a light thing. “And being in agony, I prayed more earnestly. Then My sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground” (Luke 22:44).
2. I went through terrible struggles when I became your sin. “I begged the Father, ‘If You are willing, remove this cup from Me’” (Luke 22:42).
3. My agony resulted in hemorrhaging through his forehead. “And My sweat was like drops of blood” (v. 44, ELT).
4. Various types of prayer describe Me. “Who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear” (Heb. 5:7).
a. Prayer – a relationship with the Father.
b. Supplication – Pleading.
c. Strong crying – Emotional commitment.
d. Tears – complete pouring out.
5. I did not pray to change the Father’s will. Rather I prayed to discover His will. “Nevertheless, not My will but Yours be done” (Luke 22:42).
E. JESUS’ PRAYER OF INTERCESSION
1. My longest recorded prayer (John 17) has three petitions: (1) verses 1-5, Jesus prays for Himself, (2) verses 6-19 for His disciples, (3) for all believers, verses 20-25.
2. First petition for Myself. First, “Glorify thou Me . . . with the glory which I had with thee before the world was” (v. 5). It’s acceptable to ask for God’s blessing when our motives are pure. Second, “that He (the Father) should give eternal life to as many as He gave Me.”
3. I had five petitions for My DISCIPLES (17:6-19).
a. I ask for their security, “Keep through thine own name these whom thou has given me” (v. 17).
b. I ask for their unity in a broken world to glorify the Father. “That they may be one” (v. 11).
c. I ask for their spiritual growth. “That they may have My joy fulfilled in themselves” (v. 13).
d. I ask for deliverance from satan’s influence. “Keep them from the evil one” (v. 15, ELT).