Summary: The Gospels record 17 specific occasions when Jesus prayed. Jesus prayed at different times of the day. He prayed in different places. Sometimes He prayed on His own, and sometimes when His Disciples were with Him.
Why did Jesus pray?
This morning as we continue in our series on Dynamic Disciples our focus this month is on Prayer.
The Bible records the words of 222 specific prayers - actual worded prayers, not just references to prayer with statements like he prayed or he called upon the name of the Lord, 222 actual prayers.
176 prayers in the Old Testament and 46 in the New Testament.
If you read through the Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John you will see Jesus constantly taught, exhorted, encouraged and inspired His disciples to pray.
The Author David Watson in his book called Discipleship wrote these words about Jesus and Prayer: “Prayer was the breath that Jesus breathed, the driving force of His life, the secret of His astonishing ministry.”
The Gospels record 17 specific occasions when Jesus prayed.
Jesus prayed at different times of the day.
He prayed in different places.
Sometimes He prayed on His own, and sometimes when His Disciples were with Him.
Here is the question: Why did Jesus pray?
If Jesus is God, why did Jesus need to pray?
Prayer was obviously an important part of Jesus’ life.
But why did Jesus need to pray?
Jesus prayed because of His relationship with God the Father.
In John chapter 17, we find Jesus’ prayer of intercession for the disciples and all who would believe in Him because of their testimony.
In His prayer, we see Jesus’ relationship with the Father and the confidence He has in His Father’s perfect provision and plan.
Let me read John 17 to you...
Jesus’ relationship with the Father was the power that brought salvation to man.
Jesus laid aside His glory and took on flesh (Philippians 2:5-8) and became obedient to Father God.
Why did Jesus pray? Jesus prayed because of His dependence upon and His obedience to the Father. Jesus said, “I can do nothing on my own. I judge as God tells me. Therefore, my judgment is just, because I carry out the will of the One who sent me, not my own will.” (John 5:30).
Jesus was in complete submission to the Father.
Have you ever asked “What would Jesus do?”
Perhaps a better question is, “What did Jesus do?”
Asking what would Jesus do is subjective to what we think He did. Asking what Jesus did is objective because we have a record in the Gospels.
So What did Jesus do?
- Jesus prayed often and consistently.
He prayed early in the morning, late at night, He even prayed all through the night.
Luke 5:16 tells us Jesus often withdrew into the wilderness for prayer. He often sought out a place where He could be alone in prayer to Father God.
Jesus prayed often and consistently.
Jesus prayed without ceasing every chance He could.
Jesus prayed in every aspect of life. Can we say the same about our prayer life?
Jesus prayed based on His knowledge of God’s Truth
The prayers of Jesus were based on the revealed truth of God.
Jesus did not pray in a cold, distant manner, He prayed from His heart.
In His prayers Jesus demonstrated genuine empathy and love for God, for Himself, for His disciples, and for all who had or would place their trust in Jesus as Lord and Saviour.
- Jesus also prayed before critical moments and events in His life.
What do you do when you know difficult or critical moments are about to occur in your own life?
Is your first thought to seek God in prayer?
Or do you try to struggle through in your own strength?
Do you remember when the disciples were caught up in a storm?
Jesus had just performed the miracle of feeding 5,000 people.
Jesus insisted that His disciples get into the boat and head across the lake to Bethsaida, while he sent the people home. Then Jesus went up into the hills to pray.
Later that night, the disciples were in their boat in the middle of the lake, and Jesus was alone on land.
The disciples had been in the boat for about nine hours and according to the Gospel of John they had rowed for four miles (John 6:19).
The Gospel of Mark tells us that Jesus saw that the disciples were in serious trouble, they were rowing hard in the storm and struggling against the wind and waves.
Remember, Jesus wasn’t in the boat because he had gone to the hills to pray.
Jesus didn’t stop praying when His disciples were struggling.
What does Jesus do when we are in the storm of life? He prays for us.
While Jesus is praying and we are in the storm, what are we to do?
The simple answer is we do what the disciples did.
We continue to row. We don’t give up, we keep going.